Supporting you, every step of the way

When someone passes away there are countless things to be done and tough decisions to make, all of which can feel overwhelming and confusing. 

We can help you with banking arrangements by explaining what’s required and supporting you at each stage - from completing paperwork together and stopping account activity, to handling the release of money from the Estate.

What you need to do

1. Talk to us

You can either:

  • Call our Estate Settlement and Support team on 1800 686 153 between 8.30am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday (Sydney/ Melbourne time) or +61 2 8629 0143 if you're calling from overseas 
  • Talk to one of our team at your local branch

If your family member or friend had a Private Banker, contact the Private Banker directly.

Choose whichever way you're most comfortable with. We'll always handle your situation with care and sensitivity, whether that's in person or over the phone.

When you tell us that your loved one has passed away, we'll stop any transaction account held solely in their name. That means no direct debit transactions or money can be taken out of the account. Credit payments can continue to be paid into the account. Generally, joint accounts aren’t stopped, allowing the other account holder to still use the account.

2. Submit forms and documents

We'll help you complete a Deceased Customer Notification Form (PDF) which confirms details of the person who has passed away. You’ll also need to provide us with an original or certified copy of the Death Certificate once you have it. We'll then search our records to identify all the accounts held in the deceased person’s name. 

3. Organise funeral expenses

If you need money from the Estate to pay for your loved one’s funeral, we can help.

You’ll need to visit a branch and bring the tax invoice (if you’re yet to pay for the funeral) or a tax receipt (if you have already paid). As long as you can show us a proof of death document, a Death Certificate isn’t required in order to make funeral and other payments. 

We’ll release money to cover funeral expenses when a request is received from: 

  • The executor, or administrator acting for the Estate
  • The person who organised the funeral or
  • The person who paid for the funeral from their own funds

Money from the deceased estate may also be released to pay for other costs e.g. bills and expenses relating to the Estate. Call our specialist team on 1800 686 153 Mon – Fri between 8:30am – 5pm (Sydney/ Melbourne time) to discover more.

4. Close and settle the accounts

After you notify us, you'll receive a letter detailing all the accounts and balances held. We'll also confirm if you need to complete any other paperwork. Once we have all the relevant documents we'll settle the Estate, which means releasing money and assets.

This last step can take time. If you want to check on our progress call our specialist team on 1800 686 153 Mon – Fri between 8:30am – 5pm (Sydney/ Melbourne time).

We can only share account information with the estate executor, administrator, or next-of-kin. 

Documents we need

Documents we need

Gathering paperwork may be the last thing you feel like doing. But for us to help you, we need to see several documents - depending on the value of the Estate and whether there’s a Will or not.

You don’t need to provide original documents, we also accept certified copies. You can certify copies of original documents at any CommBank Branch (so long as you also show us the original document).

Documents needed for estate settling

Generally we’ll need to see the following

(but additional documents may be required based on individual circumstances)

When notifying us:

  • Deceased Customer Notification form
  • Death Certificate (note you can still notify us without one, but you will need to provide this at some stage)
  • Photo ID e.g. driver’s licence from each executor or administrator who doesn’t already bank with us

Prior to settlement of the Estate:

  • Will (if there is one)

If the Estate is valued at $50,000 or more you’ll also need to provide:

  • Grant of Probate (if you have a valid will)
  • Letters of Administration (if there is no valid will)

These are granted by the Supreme Court in the state or territory where the estate is held.

If you choose to call us, you can send certified copies of documents to:

Processing Services
Estate Settlement & Support
PO BOX 334
Silverwater NSW 2128
Australia

Please don’t send original documents. Certified copies are sufficient.

Forms to complete

Depending on your circumstances, we may ask you to complete the below forms. We will let you know which forms we require you to complete.

Man looking out

What happens to the accounts?

Bank accounts

To prevent any unauthorised access to account(s), all debit cards linked to your loved one’s account(s) will be stopped. This means that existing cards will no longer be able to be used, and some regular recurring payments may also be stopped1. Once the Estate is finalised the account(s) will be closed. Direct credits continue to be accepted by the account up until it's closed, however you will not be able to transfer money between accounts. If you’d like to deposit a cheque, you’ll need to visit your local branch.

Joint bank accounts

Joint accounts continue to operate as normal. No change is required unless you’d prefer the account be amended so it’s only in the surviving account holder’s name (bear in mind you’ll continue to get documents addressed to your loved one if you choose not to amend it).

Credit cards

Any credit card in the name of the primary cardholder will be cancelled. This means that all existing cards will no longer be able to be used. Some transactions e.g. regular payments, may still occur in certain circumstances, so you should regularly check the monthly statements. If any regular payments continue after the account is cancelled, you’ll need to contact the service provider directly to cancel the service.

If you’re an additional cardholder this card will also be cancelled and you’ll need to apply for a credit card in your own name. We can help you with this, either in branch or over the phone. If this causes financial strain, contact our Financial Assist team who may be able to help. 

Home loans and Personal loans

All access and activity related to the account will be stopped. Interest continues while the Estate is settled. We recommend you seek legal guidance before you consider making any voluntary repayments throughout this period.

Joint home loans

Unless you’re planning to sell or pay off the loan using super or insurance, we may be able to transfer the loan solely into the surviving joint account holder’s name, provided they meet the refinancing requirements (but they may need to apply for a new home loan).

We can help you with this. Our Financial Assist Deceased Estates team will proactively contact you. You can call them on 1300 720 814 if you’d prefer. This team can also help you if, as a joint account holder, you’re finding it difficult to keep up with the home loan repayments.

Joint personal loans

If you’re the joint account holder, you’ll need to continue to make payments on this account. Unless you’d prefer the loan to be changed so it’s only in your name, there’s nothing more you need to do (bear in mind you’ll continue to get documents addressed to your loved one as a result).

Term Deposits

For Term Deposits held only in your loved one’s name, we can release money before the Term Deposit maturity date. All fees and charges for early withdrawal will be waived, and interest accrued up until account closure will be paid.

Superannuation & insurance

If your loved one has home, contents or car insurance, cover will remain in place and premiums will need to be paid. If you’d like to cancel any insurances or change the policy owner details, give us a call on 132 423 between 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday and 8am – 5pm Saturday (Sydney/ Melbourne time)

We’ll stop all life insurance premiums once you tell us your loved one has passed away. Any repayments or premiums paid after their date of death will be refunded once the claims assessment is completed.

Business accounts and facilities

If your loved one or business partner has any business accounts (solely or jointly), loans or facilities e.g. merchant terminals, you can contact their (or your) Relationship Manager to discuss how the accounts will now be managed.

If you’re having difficulty keeping up with the repayments on any business loans call us on 13 26 07 and we’ll work with you to develop a solution to meet your needs.

Open an account for the Executor

We can also organise an ‘Estate of the Late’ account at your nearest branch. It works as a transaction account and allows the executor to access funds more easily and provides an account to deposit cheques made out to ‘Estate of the Late’. If you do wish to open one, the executor will require a Grant of Probate or letters of administration prior to opening the account.

Other account types

If your loved one had accounts with any of the following CommBank teams, we’ll also let them know.

The following teams have their own Estate settlement process and you’ll receive info on next steps. You can also contact them directly:

  • CommInsure Investment, superannuation or annuity products: 132 015
  • Colonial First State: 13 13 36
  • Commonwealth Bank Business Accounts: Contact their Relationship Manager directly
  • Commonwealth Private Banking: 1300 362 081 or contact their Private Banker directly
  • Commonwealth  Financial Planner: Contact their Planner directly

If your loved one had accounts with Bankwest, you'll need to call Bankwest on 13 17 19 to let them know.

holding hands in comfort

Adjusting to life after losing your partner

It’s likely your financial situation will change

It takes time to get back on your feet when you lose a partner. If you’re feeling unsure or concerned about your finances, our Financial Assist Team can help you take practical steps towards financial security.

If the Estate is in financial difficulty

Unless you’re a joint account holder (or a Guarantor) you won’t be responsible for the debts of your loved one’s Estate.

If the Estate is in financial hardship, explore the ways we can help with Financial Difficulty or contact an organisation like Financial Counselling Australia for guidance and support.

Other organisations can help

In an emergency please call 000 or contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement
A not for profit organisation established to provide a range of education, counselling, research and clinical services for those working in and affected by experiences of grief and bereavement. 

Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
The ATO outlines the tax responsibilities associated with deceased estates. If you’re the executor of a deceased estate, you may need to lodge a final tax return on behalf of the deceased person. 

Birth, deaths and marriages registry
It’s the responsibility of the state and territory governments in Australia to provide Death Certificates.

Centrelink
Centrelink is an organisation provided by the Federal Government and can provide insight into areas such as where to obtain a Death Certificate and organising a funeral.

Things you should know

1 Some transactions may still occur in certain circumstances so you should regularly check your monthly statements. If any regular payments continue to be processed on your account after it has been cancelled, you will need to contact the service provider directly to cancel the service.