Answers to frequently asked questions.
Answers to frequently asked questions.
Step 1 – Notify us at a BOQ branch
If you haven’t already done so, you or your solicitor can let us know when someone has passed away. Visit any BOQ branch with any of the following documents to commence our actions: a certified copy of the Death Certificate, doctor’s medical certificate, funeral bill, solicitor’s or Coroner’s letter.
Depending on the circumstances we may also require a certified copy of the Will, Grant of Probate, or Letters of Administration. Please bring certified copies of these documents with you if you have them. The branch can advise you if any additional documentation is required.
You will also need to identify yourself with photo identification (i.e. licence, proof of age card, passport).
If you cannot make it to a branch, contact us on 1300 55 72 72
Step 2 – BOQ will review the Estate
BOQ will conduct a review of accounts and facilities held by the deceased. Depending on the amount of funds in the deceased person's account, and the State or Territory in which the account is held, you may need to provide additional information or take further steps (such as applying for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration).
Step 3 – BOQ will write to you
BOQ will write to you if you are:-
· the executor appointed under a will
· a person identified as a next of kin in the death certificate or other official document acceptable to us
· an Administrator who has applied for and been granted letters of Administration or
· a solicitor acting on behalf of one of these people,
and, you have provided us with a copy of the Death Certificate then we will act on your instructions within 14 days, by providing you with details of the accounts (including information about ongoing account fees) and facilities solely and jointly owned by the deceased.
We will also let you know what requirements need to be fulfilled before we release funds held in the accounts.
We will also advise you of any outstanding loans or debts that are owed to us as part of finalising the deceased estate.
Step 4 – Complete requirements
You will need to complete and return all documents and requirements requested by BOQ including the Deceased Customer Notification form.
Step 5 – BOQ will release Estate funds
If we have been notified of a customer’s death and we have the correct documentation, then if you are the executor named in a grant of probate or an administrator named in letters of administration we will act on your instructions about the deceased customer’s account within 14 days.
We will assist with finalising the deceased estate once all requirements have been met including:
· release of Estate funds;
· discharge of mortgages or other security over Estate assets (upon repayment of any outstanding loans);
· facilitating the transfer or transmission of Estate assets to the Executor or Administrator as part of the administration of the Estate.
We can only disclose information about the deceased customer’s account to their estate executor, administrator or next of kin.
We will require original or certified copies of the following documents to confirm this:
If you are not one of the people listed above, you can notify us of the passing of the deceased, but we may be limited in the information we can provide to you.
In all instances, you will need to be identified so ensure you bring photo identification with you to the branch (i.e. licence, proof of age card or passport).
You should contact the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the State or Territory where the person’s death was registered. Usually, only a person named as the spouse, partner, parent or child of the deceased person can apply for a death certificate.
If you have not been told where the latest Will is located and you cannot find it at the deceased's home, ask their solicitor, accountant, financial advisor, other family members or close friends if they know of its whereabouts.
If the deceased has not left a Will, the deceased is considered to have died intestate. The Public Trustee in your State or Territory can advise the process for dealing with the Estate and who will be appointed Administrator of the Estate. Letters of Administration may need to be obtained in this case.
Probate or Grant of Probate
An Executor appointed under a Will can apply for Probate by contacting the Supreme Court in the State or Territory in which the deceased’s assets are held. A Grant of Probate confirms the Executor’s authority to deal with the deceased’s assets and Estate. You can seek advice on this matter from the Public Trustee in your State or Territory, or your solicitor.
Probate expenses are usually incurred by the Executor and reimbursed from funds held in the deceased’s Estate.
Letters of Administration
If the deceased dies without a Will and there are significant assets or real property that must be dealt with as part of the Estate it will be necessary for you to apply to the Court for Letters of Administration appointing you as Administrator.
Letters of Administration give the Administrator power to deal with the Estate. The law provides for who may seek appointment as Administrator and who has priority.
You can seek advice on this matter from the Public Trustee in your State or Territory, or your solicitor.
Documents not accepted
A Power of Attorney ceases to be valid upon the death of the principal (the person making the Power of Attorney). This means that persons appointed as attorneys under a Power of Attorney will no longer be able to access bank accounts or conduct other transactions on behalf of the deceased.
We cannot accept a medical certificate in place of the Death Certificate.
What happens to accounts only in the name of the deceased?
BOQ will revoke access to these accounts by account signatories, and will cancel all Direct Debits and Transfer Orders. We will provide you with a list of all the recurring payments and direct debits for each deposit account and will assist you to manage any direct debits on the accounts. If the account has any recurring payments, you will need to contact the merchant or service provider to cancel these payments or make alternative payment arrangements.
BOQ will also notify affiliated partners such as National Australia Bank and Link Marketing of the person’s death.
Upon instructions from the Executor, BOQ will close sole accounts and transfer funds electronically to the “Estate of the Late…” account held at BOQ, via your Solicitor or we can issue a bank cheque for the closing balance payable to the “Estate of the Late…”, which you can then deposit into the Estate Account ready to be distributed in accordance with the terms of the Will.
Opening & operating an Estate Account with BOQ
An Estate Account can be established at any financial institution. To open an Estate Account with BOQ, all Executors or Administrators of that Estate must sign the account opening form, and each Executor/Administrator who is not an existing BOQ customer will need to provide identification. In addition, withdrawals made from this account must be authorised by ALL Executors of the Estate.
Requests to pay bills
If requested by the Executor/s, BOQ may agree to arrange payment of bills associated with the Estate directly from the deceased person’s account, provided there are sufficient funds in that account. Such bills may include funeral costs, government payments and costs to protect the Estate (e.g. insurance).
In order for BOQ to consider the payment, you will need to provide the original invoice and/or receipt (where payment was made independently and reimbursement is requested). Where the bill is approved and the deceased person’s account has insufficient funds for the full payment amount, the deceased’s account/s may be closed and the total balance sent as part payment of the bill.
Overpayment/s to an account held by the deceased
Occasionally, payments from a government department (e.g. Centrelink, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs) are credited to a deceased person’s account after the date of death. BOQ is required by law to refund such overpayments to the specific department if requested by that department.
What happens to loans held by the deceased?
Loans held solely by the deceased become immediately repayable upon their death. Generally, the Executor must ensure that all of the deceased’s debts are repaid before distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries. If you have concerns that this would cause hardship or financial difficulty please discuss this with us as soon as possible.
Where the deceased person held a home loan jointly with another person, BOQ will contact the surviving joint borrower/s to discuss options for repaying or restructuring the loan.
What happens to accounts which the deceased held as trustee?
What happens to assets held by a person as trustee depends on the terms of the trust, which are usually set out in a trust deed. If the deceased person was acting as a trustee prior to their death, it is recommended that you seek independent legal advice regarding the continuance of the trust.
The Executor or Administrator, in effect, steps into the shoes of the deceased person and winds up their personal affairs. Examples of tasks usually performed by an Executor or Administrator include:
For comprehensive information regarding the duties and actions of an Executor or Administrator, please contact The Office of the Public Trustee in your State or Territory or a solicitor.
Administrator: The Court may appoint an administrator under Letters of Administration to manage an Estate, for example, when there is no Will, no Executors are appointed under the Will, or the Executors are unwilling or unable to act.
Beneficiaries: People who are entitled to a portion of the assets of the Estate. They are usually named in the Will. If no Will exists, they are usually the deceased person's next of kin but this is determined by the law so you should seek legal advice.
Estate: When a person dies, their property and assets are called their “Estate”. The deceased’s Estate is held by the Executor or Administrator on trust until the assets can be distributed in accordance with the terms of the Will or law.
Estate Account: An account established by the Executor/s or Administrator/s of an Estate to receive funds identified as part of the Estate, prior to distributing funds according to the terms of the Will or law.
Executor: The individual/s (or office of The Public Trustee) nominated in the Will to control the assets of the Estate and carry out the terms of the Will.
Grant of Probate: An official grant by the Courts to the Executor named in the Will, confirming the authority of the Executor to effect the terms of the Will. Depending on the applicable state or territory, until Probate is granted by the Courts, an Executor may not have legal authority to collect monies, pay debts or distribute assets of the Estate.
Intestate: When a person dies without leaving a Will.
Letter of Administration: An official grant by the Court confirming the authority of the Executor to administer the Estate in accordance with the law including collecting monies, paying debts and distributing assets of the Estate. Commonly a close relative will be appointed as Administrator if the deceased died without a Will.
Probate: see ‘Grant of Probate’
Will: A legal document that sets out a person’s directions for the administration and disposal of their Estate after their death.