Losing a loved one is difficult, and we understand that managing their estate can be overwhelming and confusing, and often you are navigating your grief at the same time.
We value the banking relationship we shared with your loved one and for us this does not end with their passing. We want to ensure that the process of finalising their accounts with Queensland Country Bank is as easy as possible
We are pleased to announce we are now partnered with the Australian Death Notification Service. You may be able to use this service to notify other organisations. To find out more visit the official Australian Death Notification service.
Steps to finalising your loved one's accounts
There are a few steps which must be followed in order for us to be able to release any available credit balance held in the deceased Member’s account(s). To assist, we have prepared this simple guide which takes you through the process one step at a time.
Step 1: Consider obtaining professional legal advice
When you lose a loved one there are a number of tasks to be carried out by the persons responsible for administering the estate including taking control of the deceased’s assets and property, paying funeral expenses, debts and taxes and organising insurances to protect the estate’s assets. The difficulty of this task increases when the person administering the estate is a relative or friend of the deceased grieving the loss of their loved one.
Depending on the deceased’s particular circumstances, there may be complex legal issues to be resolved before the estate can be finalised. Seeking the assistance of a solicitor may ease the burden of administering the estate while at the same time provide peace of mind.
Step 2: Obtain documentation and necessary information
To enable us to commence the process of finalising and/or updating accounts we will generally require the original or a certified copy Note 1 of the following documentation in respect to the deceased:
- Death Certificate
- Will (if applicable) Note 2
We also require information concerning:
- the Memberships held by the deceased Member;
- the administration of the deceased’s estate, including contact details of persons who are able to assist us in the finalisation of the accounts:
- solicitors acting for the Estate
- Next-of-Kin and
- payment information, if we are requested to arrange for the reimbursement or payment of the funeral account from the available credit balance of the deceased Member’s account.
To obtain this information we ask that you complete and provide the following documentation:
- Deceased Member Notification form; and
- Funeral Invoice/Account (if applicable)
Where the only Membership held by the deceased is a joint Membership we will require a certified copy Note 1 of the Death Certificate to transition this Membership to an individual Membership held solely by the surviving joint holder.
Funeral expenses may be paid from available funds in the deceased’s account/s upon receipt of the original funeral account or receipt. Queensland Country will make payment directly to the funeral director, or where the account has already been paid, reimburse the person who has paid the account.
Note 1: Certifying documents: Wherever we have requested documentation to be provided, we require either the original or a certified copy of the document to be produced. Certified copy means that the document has been certified as a true copy of an original document by a person authorised to certify documents (e.g. Justice of the Peace, Commissioner of Declarations, Solicitor).
Note 2: Intestacy: If the deceased did not leave a Will, the solicitor or next-of-kin acting for the Estate may be able to assist with completing the relevant forms and providing other information and documentation required.
Step 3: Identify accounts and facilities held on behalf of the deceased
Once we receive the documentation required in Step 1 we will conduct a records search to identify the accounts and non-cash payment facilities held by the deceased. This will include savings accounts, SmartBudget account, fixed term deposits, loans and other credit accounts, and superannuation benefits held in a Retirement Savings Account.
We will also be able to identify accounts in which the deceased exercised control in a capacity other than as outright owner of the account, for example, as trustee, director, partner, or joint holder.
Step 4: Cancel access methods and remove signatories
In order to protect and preserve the funds held by the deceased we will cancel access methods to the deceased’s individual accounts including CU Online and Phone Service, card access and cheque book facilities. We will also freeze account balances; waive account keeping fees; and suppress interest on loans and other credit accounts and overdrawn savings accounts.
Cancelling an access method does not cancel any automatic direct debits from the account. The Executors or Administrators should contact with the organisations or merchants where the direct debits have been established to arrange for these to be cancelled.
Where we have identified that direct debits have been established to pay insurance premiums on property held by the deceased we will allow these payments to continue until we are able to take instructions from the person/s administering the Estate.
We will also remove third party signatories and other persons no longer able to act on behalf of the deceased (including Attorney(s) appointed under a Power of Attorney) from all accounts held solely by the deceased.
Where funds are held on fixed term deposit, we will continue to maintain these arrangements until we are instructed by the person(s) administering the Estate to alter these arrangements.
Step 5: Verify the identity of the Executors or Administrators
Upon receiving confirmation of Executors or Administrators acting in the administration of the deceased’s Estate, we will request that they provide us with appropriate verification documentation (e.g. a driver’s licence). This documentation should be provided in person at any Queensland Country branch. Where persons are not located in an area serviced by our branch network we will accept a certified copy of the verification documentation.
Step 6: Write to the executors/administrators
We will then write to the executors/administrators or the solicitors acting on behalf of the Estate and provide written confirmation of the information necessary to facilitate the finalisation of the deceased’s accounts including the details of accounts held by the deceased; any additional information or documentation we require; and our requirements in respect to grant of probate or letters of administration.
We will also advise of the details of any loans and other credit facilities held by the deceased and confirm whether we hold securities in respect to these debts and any other requirements necessary to finalise these facilities.
Home loans, Personal Loans and Credit Cards
Where a debt was owed to us by the deceased jointly with another debtor(s) the surviving joint debtor(s) remain liable for the debt owed, subject to the terms of the credit contract.
A mortgage held by the deceased will continue in existence upon their passing as does the obligation to make repayments in respect to other debts owed to us by the deceased. However, we will discuss the options for finalising loans and other credit facilities and any interim measures we can put in place to facilitate this process. This may include deferring repayments for a period of time to enable the Executor(s) or Administrator(s) to make arrangements for the repayment or refinancing (if possible) of the debt.
Under Clause 26 of our Constitution, we have a contractual right to apply any credit balance held by the deceased in any savings account (including Fixed Term Deposit accounts) with Queensland Country, and the value of the deceased’s Member Share, to repay any debt owed to us by the deceased. Unless prohibited by law, we will exercise our right to set-off and combine accounts. However, prior to exercising this right we will endeavour to contact the Executors or Administrators of the Estate to provide notice of our intentions. If there are insufficient funds to cover the debt owed we will include the details of the debt(s) when corresponding with the Executor or Administrators.
Given the complexities involved in attending to these matters (e.g. where the debt is secured by property and there are insufficient funds in the Estate to satisfy the debt), the Executors or Administrators may require the assistance of a solicitor. We will provide whatever assistance we can to make this process as easy as possible.
Step 7: Finalise accounts
Upon confirmation that all outstanding debts owed by the deceased have been satisfied in full and the requirements for release of the surplus funds have been met we will pay the remaining balance of the deceased’s accounts by a cheque payable to the Estate or by transferring the funds into an account held in the name of the Estate.
Step 8: Open an Estate account
As part of their role in administering the estate the Executors or Administrators gather in the assets, protect them (by insurance or otherwise), pay debts and finally, distribute any surplus remaining in the estate. In order to facilitate the process the Executor(s) or Administrator(s) open an Estate account, with the Executor(s) or Administrators(s) as trustee(s) for the Estate of the deceased person. We are able to assist with opening an Estate account and facilitating the distribution of funds from that account through a range of non-cash payment facilities.
Glossary of terms
You may come across the following terms when closing your loved one's accounts and estate.
Where the deceased dies intestate (without a will); or did not appoint an executor; or the appointed executor is unwilling or able to act, persons who have a beneficial interest in the deceased estate may apply to the Supreme Court for letters of administration. By the grant the Court appoints a person, referred to as the administrator, to administer the estate.
A person who is entitled to take a benefit under a will or under the intestacy rules.
A recognised identity document that informs government agencies and financial institutions of a person’s death.
Property of a deceased person and held by an appointed executor or administrator in trust pending distribution to the beneficiaries.
An account opened with a financial institution for the purposes of administering a deceased person’s estate. The account is usually opened by the person(s) named the executor(s) in the deceased’s will.
The person appointed to administer the estate of a deceased person under their will.
Grant of Probate
The formal document issued by the Supreme Court confirming its acceptance that the Will is valid and the authority of the executor nominated in the Will to act as executor and administer the estate.
When a person dies without leaving a valid will.
Letter of Indemnity
A document required to be completed by the executor(s), administrator(s) and other parties claiming an interest in the deceased estate in which the person signing the document agrees, without production of Probate or Letters of Administration, to: (1) indemnify Queensland Country Credit Union Limited against any loss, including direct and indirect damage, loss or cost it may suffer as a consequence of making payment from the deceased person’s account(s) to such persons represented as being entitled to a receipt of the payment; and (2) pay all debts and other expenses of the deceased person.
Letters of Administration
A document issued by the court appointing an administrator to administer the deceased estate in circumstances where the deceased person died without a valid will; or left a will but no executor was appointed or an executor(s) was appointed and has already died or is unwilling or able to act.
Next of Kin
A person’s closest living relative either by blood or by marriage.
A document which sets out a person’s wishes about how their property is to be distributed upon their death.
Any joint accounts held by the deceased with another person(s) will continue. Any surplus funds remain the property of the surviving joint account holders. Likewise, where the deceased was a joint debtor under a loan or other credit facility the remaining joint debtors continue to be liable for the debt owed subject to the particular terms and conditions of the credit contract.
Where the deceased assumed the relationship of Director and Signatory on a corporate account, we will remove the deceased from these accounts once formally notified of their death. The company may elect to appoint a new Director and Signatory on the account and we will assist with facilitating these changes. A minimum of two (2) directors and/or a director and company secretary, is generally required for corporate memberships.
If the deceased was the sole director and/or the sole shareholder of the company at the time of their death, we will advise the Executor(s) or Administrator(s) of this fact. In this circumstance they may elect to obtain independent legal advice to determine what action is required to be taken.
Once notified of the deceased’s death we will remove the deceased from any formal and informal trust accounts in which the deceased assumed the relationship of trustee. We will inform the Executor(s) or Administrator(s) of the existence of these accounts to enable them to determine what action, if any, is required.
We act as agent for CGU Insurance Limited ABN 27 004 478 371 AFSL 238 291. Where the deceased held general insurance or life insurance products with CGU Insurance Limited ABN 27 004 478 371 arranged through Queensland Country please note the following contact numbers:
For information on how to make a claim and how to transfer an existing general insurance policy to the estate phone 1800 248 224.
For other queries or further information phone the CGU Customer Care Centre on 132 942.
To be able to close the deceased's accounts, we will need the following documentation
- An original or certified copy of the death certificate
- An original or certified copy of the will
- If no will exists, a Letter of Administration for estates more than $15,000 (certified copy)
- A Grant of Probate, where a will exists and the estate is valued at more than $15,000 (certified copy)
- A Letter of Indemnity for estates less than $15,000, available from Queensland Country and completed by the executor of the estate (not required for joint accounts or if a Grant of Probate or Letter of Administration are provided)
- Funeral account or receipt
- Payment information
- Contact details of the solicitor acting for the Estate, Executor or Administrator(s) and next of kin.
- We will also need to complete an ID check on the Executor or next of kin before we can proceed with closing the accounts.
Depending on the circumstances, we may need further information or documents other than those listed above. Once you have contacted us, we can let you know if anything else is required.
For more information on deceased estates, contact us on 1800 075 078.
This guide does not provide an exhaustive list of all the issues to be considered when finalising a deceased estate.
While all care was taken in the preparation of this guide, Queensland Country Bank Limited, expressly disclaims liability to any person in respect of this guide who act in reliance, in whole or in part, on the information provided in this Guide. This disclaimer does not exclude any warranties implied by law which may not be lawfully excluded.
This guide is not intended, nor should it be used as a substitute for professional legal advice.