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We know it's often an emotional and stressful time when a loved one passes away, and we understand that handling financial matters can be confusing. We’re here to help, so please contact us on 13 25 77 or visit a branch to speak with a team member if you need support.

If you’re a representative of the estate of a friend or family member who held a P&N Bank account, please let us know as soon as you can. We can then take steps to protect the account from unauthorised access, and help you through the process.

Steps to manage a deceased estate

With so much to deal with, it can be hard to know where to start or even how to begin. If you were named in their Last Will and Testament as the Executor of their estate, you may have the added stress of managing a complex list of tasks.

As you will need to comply with the laws governing estate management, you may choose to seek the help of others. If the estate is a complex one, a legal professional should be able to assist you through the whole process.

1. First steps

Your immediate priority will likely be reaching out to family and friends of the deceased to let them know their loved one has passed away. You may also be responsible for the organisation of the funeral service according to the Last Will and Testament, and to be able to do that there are several organisations that will need to be notified.

As a starting point, you will need to contact your loved one's bank or financial institutions, relevant government departments (such as Human Services and the Australian Taxation Office) and insurance, superannuation and utility companies. The Australian Death Notification Service can help you get in touch with multiple organisations using a single online process, but here are some things you will need first.

You will need the official Death Certificate and account/membership details. You’ll also need the original Last Will and Testament and you may have to apply for a Grant of Probate from the Supreme Court. This is a document that grants you power to administer the deceased person’s estate as executor.

2. Identify the estate assets

One of the challenging tasks for an Executor is determining the estate's assets and debts, which unfortunately can be difficult to do. You will need to make a list of everything the person owned or was entitled to, and this could include bank accounts, real estate, vehicles, personal effects, shares, investments and superannuation. This list is not exhaustive and you may find that there are other assets that need to be accounted for.

3. Pay any debts

Once you have determined the estate's assets, it is then time to pay any outstanding debts associated with the estate. This could include funeral and administration expenses, outstanding utility or credit card bills, loan repayments and taxes (including income tax).

You may find that opening a bank account in the name of the estate - known as an Estate of the Late account - is a good option. This can help you easily keep track of the assets sold and the debts that have been paid.

You will need to contact several organisations to request information on any debts that are to be settled. And, you may also be required to publish a notice asking people with a claim against the estate to come forward.

4. Distribute the remaining assets

After all the estate debts have been paid, the remaining assets can be distributed to the beneficiaries named in the Last Will and Testament. If the deceased person didn’t leave a Will, the beneficiaries may be determined in accordance with the relevant state’s legislation.

If your loved one was a P&N member, our Help Centre provides more information on how we can help you finalise their banking arrangements. We’re here to help make the process simple and straight forward, so don’t hesitate to contact us by calling 13 25 77.

We're here to help

Please advise us as soon as possible so we can act to keep the account/s safe, prevent any unauthorised transactions and assist in managing the accounts of the deceased’s estate. 

You can notify us by calling our contact centre on 13 25 77, or you may prefer to visit your nearest branch and speak with us in person.

We’re only able to share information with a joint account holder, the estate executor, administrator or - if there’s no executor or administrator - the next of kin.

Once you have been identified as the authorised person to administer the deceased’s estate, we'll provide you with further information on what is required to settle the accounts.

Managing the estate of a loved one can be an upsetting and stressful experience. There are a number of people and organisations that can help you while you are going through this difficult time and you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out for support while you are grieving.

There are several organisations who are available to provide support, counselling and financial advice to you during this difficult time.

If an account is held in a single name only, all accounts, credit cards and overdrafts will be restricted, and no further transactions may occur.

A surviving joint owner may continue operating an account as per normal if the account has been established with either party authorised to sign. Our branch staff may assist in arranging for the account to be amended to the sole survivor's name only. We will contact you in relation to any joint lending.

As circumstances are different for each member, there is no specific timeframe for settling a Deceased's membership. We are required to wait a minimum of 30 days from date of death to close and finalise deceased accounts if surplus funds are held after meeting funeral costs. 

Once all required documentation has been provided, our staff will assist in arranging for the membership and accounts to be closed and disbursed.

You may like to open an "estate of the late" account and have the funds released to it. An "estate of the late" account is used when an executor requires an account to be opened to collect/manage the estate of a deceased person.

Cheques made payable to the deceased or cheques made payable to the ‘estate of the late’ may be deposited to an "estate of the late" account.

This is usually due to the complexity of the estate or the instructions in the Will, which results in the estate not being able to be finalised for some time.

If funds are required from the deceased's account to pay for funeral expenses, please present a formal tax invoice from the funeral home to your local branch. Our staff arrange to make the payment to the funeral directors.

If there is not sufficient funds held to cover the full invoice amount, we will close the membership and account/s and pay the balance as part payment.

Expenses for things such as flowers, the wake, headstone and memorials cannot be paid or claimed from the Deceased's accounts.

If there is no Last Will and Testament, you may be required to provide P&N Bank with original or certified copies of the Letters of Administration.

Letters of Administration are documents issued by the Supreme Court, giving authority to a legal representative (in most cases the next of kin) to collect and distribute the assets of the estate, in the absence of a valid Last Will and Testament.

A Grant of Probate may be required from the WA Supreme Court when the deceased member left a Last Will and Testament that names executor(s) to handle the deceased estate. P&N Bank's requirement for a Grant of Probate to finalise the deceased estate will depend on whether the value of the deceased member's assets held at P&N Bank is higher than our specified amount ($50,000).

The Grant of Probate will confirm that the information has proved to be correct and that the document is the true and Last Will and Testament of the deceased member. This is designed to protect the deceased member's assets and provide permission to the executor(s) to gain the information required to administer the estate.

To assist with the requirements of the application, please check the Probate FAQs within the Supreme Court of WA website.

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