You should not withdraw funds as you are accountable to the beneficiaries of the Estate. The Bank will only share the deceased’s Bank Account information with an Executor, Administrator or the next of kin.
Upon notifying the Bank of the death, all Accounts will be frozen, so no unauthorised withdrawals are made. All Direct Debits are stopped from being debited which may include Mortgage and Insurance payments.
Although the Accounts are frozen deposits can be made.
The Executor will need to contact all creditors that were being paid by way of Direct Debit from the Bank Account and either make alternative arrangements for payments or request that they be placed on hold until such time the assets of the Estate are dealt with so that any outstanding Accounts can be paid.
It is most important that any property owned by the deceased be insured and the Executor must ensure the assets of the Estate are protected.
Banks may also release funds to pay Estate expenses upon completing a request form, such as the Funeral expenses upon you providing a Tax Invoice to pay the Funeral Home or if it has already been paid a Receipt and the funds can be reimbursed, so no one is out of pocket.
You can also apply to the Bank for expenses to be paid eg Court filing fees for Probate, Strata fees, Council Rates.
If it is a Joint Bank Account, it will not be frozen, and you attend the Bank with the Death Certificate to transfer the Bank Account into the surviving Bank Account holder.
If you have any questions, please contact our friendly Wills and Estates team on 02 4721 6200.
Written by Lyn Clark