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How to manage a deceased estate

Deceased estates

When someone close to you passes away, we understand that this can be an emotional and difficult time. If they named you in their Last Will and Testament as the executor of their estate, you may also have the added stress of managing a complex list of tasks. With so much to do, it's hard to know where to start.

You will need to comply with the laws governing estate management and may choose to seek the help of others or, if the estate is a complex one, a legal professional to assist you.

First steps

You should notify bcu as soon as you can about the death of a loved one. We understand you may have the responsibility of organising the funeral service according to the Last Will and Testament, as well as reaching out to friends and family to let them know their loved one has passed away.

Several organisations may also need to be informed. These should include your loved one's financial institution, relevant government departments (Human Services, Taxation Office), insurance, superannuation and utility companies.

You will need the original or certified copy of the Death Certificate and Last Will and Testament, and may be required to provide additional documents such a Grant of Probate from the Supreme Court (a document that grants you power to administer the estate as executor).

If your loved one is a bcu member, our FAQs provide more information on how we can help you finalise their banking arrangements. bcu can only share account information with the estate executor, administrator, or, if there is no executor or administrator, the next of kin.

Identify the estate assets

One of the challenging tasks for an executor is determining the estate's assets and debts. You will need to make a list of everything the deceased owned or was entitled to. This could include bank accounts, real estate, items such as vehicles, personal effects, shares, investments, superannuation and more.

Organise funeral and additional expenses

Once you have determined the estate's assets, it may require payment for any outstanding debts. This could include funeral and administration expenses, outstanding bills, loan repayments, relevant taxes (including income tax) and more.

It is a good idea to open a bank account in the name of the estate (known as an "Estate of the Late" account) to easily keep track of assets sold and debts paid relevant to the Estate.

You will need to contact a number of organisations to request information on debts to be settled. You may also be required to publish a notice asking people with a claim against the Estate to come forward.

Finalise the accounts

After all debts have been paid, the remaining assets can be distributed to the beneficiaries named in the Last Will and Testament.

Reach out for support if you need it

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

If you are finalising the banking arrangements for a deceased bcu member, we are here to help you make the process simple and straight forward. If you have any queries please refer to our FAQs or contact us to see how we can help.

Deceased estate checklist - bcu member

When finalising the banking arrangements for a deceased bcu member, we are here to help you make the process simple and straight forward.

Step 1: Contact us

Complete a Notification of a Deceased Member form and return it to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at your nearest bcu branch.

Step 2: Visit a bcu branch with documents

When you are ready, visit a bcu branch with the following:

  • The original or certified copy of the Death Certificate
  • Original funeral tax invoice (if funds are required from the Estate to pay for funeral expenses)
  • Photographic identification (driver's license or passport)

If you are an executor of the estate, please also bring:

  • Original or certified copy of the Last Will and Testament, OR
  • Original or certified copy of the Grant of Probate (which will have attached to it a copy of the Last Will and Testament)
  • Closing instructions for the finalisation of the estate

If there is no Last Will and Testament and you have been appointed the Administrator of the Estate, please bring:

  • Original or certified copy of the Letters of Administration

Step 3: bcu will contact you regarding next steps

Once we have assessed the estate thoroughly, we will contact you in writing to notify you of what the next steps are. If we require any additional documentation to finalise the estate, we will let you know.

Step 4: Want to know more?

Visit our frequently asked questions for more information.