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. Let us know

    Contact us as soon as you can. You can either:

    • Call our Estate Settlement and Support specialist team on 1800 686 153 Mon – Fri, 8.30am – 6:30pm (Sydney/ Melbourne time) or +61 2 8629 0143 if you're calling from overseas 
    • Fax us on 1300 784 293 or +61 2 8372 4597 if you’re faxing from overseas
    • Speak to one of our team at your local branch
    • Notify us and other organisations at the same time via the Government's Australian Death Notification Service - a death certificate must have been issued to use this service.

    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.

  • 2. Confirm your relationship to the loved one

    When someone passes away, we can only share their account info with their estate executor, administrator, or next of kin.

    We’ll ask to see original or certified copies of the below documents to confirm this.

    Which documents we need to check is based on your relationship to the loved one:

    • Executor: show us the deceased person's Will or grant of probate
    • Administrator: show us the Letters of administration
    • Next of kin: show us the death certificate

    If you don’t already bank with us, we’ll need to check your ID e.g. driver’s licence. Here’s a list of documents to take to your nearest CommBank branch.

  • 3. Provide certified or original documents

    Before we can access your loved one’s accounts, we’ll need to see original versions or certified copies of a few documents. 

  • 4. Claim for immediate expenses

    If you need money from the estate to pay for unexpected expenses, we can help.

    For funeral expenses

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

    • The executor, or administrator acting for the estate
    • The person who organised or paid for the funeral themselves

    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). A death certificate isn’t required in order to make funeral payments.

    For estate expenses

    We can also release money from the deceased estate to pay for other costs like unpaid bills or expenses relating to the estate (for example, strata fees).

    You’ll need to send us a certified copy of any documents that we ask for.

    Call our Estate Settlement and Support specialist team on 1800 686 153 Mon – Fri, 8:30am – 6.30pm (Sydney/ Melbourne time).

    For business expenses

    We can release money to cover business expenses when we receive a request from:

    • An executor or next of kin
    • A single director (for companies where there are up to two directors), or at least two directors (for companies where there are three or more directors)
    • The chairman, secretary or treasurer
    • A trustee
    • A single director for the trustee (for trusts where there are up to two directors), or at least two directors for the trustee (for trusts where there are three or more directors).

    We can also help you organise an ‘estate of the Late’ account at your nearest branch. It works as a transaction account allowing the executor to access money more easily from the estate, and to deposit any cheques made out to ‘estate of the Late’. An executor will need to provide a grant of probate or a letter of administration to open this account.

  • 5. Settle and close 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, 8:30am – 6.30pm (Sydney/ Melbourne time).

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

    See glossary of terms

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
    • The deceased person’s death certificate (if available) or a coroner’s report, doctor’s certificate or letter from the executor named in a grant of probate
    • Their current Will (if there is one)
    • Proof of identity (e.g. driver’s licence) from each executor or administrator who doesn’t already bank with us

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

    • A grant of probate (if there’s a valid will)
    • A letter of administration (if there isn’t a 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

Man looking out

What happens to the accounts?

  • Bank accounts

    To prevent any unauthorised access, we’ll put a stop on your loved one’s accounts and cancel all debit cards linked to these accounts. Once this happens, none of these cards will work. However, some regular payments linked to the debit card may still be processed on a stopped account if a service provider does not request authorisation from the Bank before processing a payment.

    It’s important to check the account and cancel any regular payments linked to the debit card. To do this, you’ll need to contact the service provider(s) directly. We can give authorised parties a list of the regular payments on your loved one’s debit card as well as copies of past statements. We encourage you to check these statements for any regular payments that may have been set up.

    Your loved one’s accounts can still receive direct credits until they’re closed – but you won’t be able to transfer money from these accounts. To deposit a cheque in your loved one’s name, you’ll need to visit your local branch, or use one of our selected ATM’s.

    Once the estate is finalised, the accounts will be closed.

    Joint bank accounts

    Joint bank accounts continue as normal including if you’re now the only signatory on an account where the method of operation was ‘both to sign’.

    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 correspondence addressed to your loved one if you choose not to amend it).

  • Credit cards

    We’ll cancel any credit cards where the deceased person was the primary cardholder. This means all their existing credit cards will stop working.  However, some regular payments may still be processed on a cancelled account if a service provider does not request authorisation from the Bank before processing a payment.

    It's important to check the credit card account and cancel any regular payments. To do this, you’ll need to contact the service provider(s) directly.

    We can give authorised parties a list of the regular payments on your loved one’s credit card accounts as well as copies of past statements. We encourage you to check these statements for any regular payments that may have been set up.

    If you’re an additional cardholder on a deceased person’s credit card account, your credit card will also be cancelled and you’ll need to apply for a card in your own name. We can help you with this, either in branch or over the phone. If this could cause financial difficulties for you, contact our Financial Assist team on 1300 720 814 who may be able to help. 

    If your loved one held an Awards credit card, they may have award points that can be redeemed. If you’re an executor, administrator, beneficiary, additional cardholder, spouse or immediate family, you can claim or use these points within six months of the date that your loved one passed away.

  • 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.

    We may also place stops on any available redraw until we’ve completed a financial assessment. Please contact our Financial Assist Deceased Estates team on 1300 720 814 for any questions on available redraw.

    You may also be eligible for Home Loan Compassionate Care, complimentary protection for your Owner Occupied home loan that can pay your loan repayments for around 12 months if you, your spouse or dependant passes away (or is medically certified with a terminal illness). 

    Joint home loans

    Unless you’re planning to sell the home or pay off the loan using super or insurance, we may be able to transfer the Certificate of Title to the surviving loan holder(s). The loan will stay in joint names until the estate is finalised, either from the sale of the property, or the refinance of the loan into the surviving borrower’s name.

    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 loan account holder, you’re finding it difficult to keep up with the home loan repayments on your own.

    Joint personal loans

    If you’re the joint account holder, you’ll need to continue to make loan repayments. 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 as part of the estate settlement. All fees and charges for early withdrawal will be waived, and interest accrued up until account closure will be paid.

  • Safe custody (packets, boxes and vaults)

    If your loved one had a safe custody facility, we can organise for an authorised person to retrieve their Will or other important documents.

    Any joint safe custody packets, boxes or vaults in the deceased person’s name can continue as is. Let us know if you’d like to change the name to the surviving account holder – if you choose not to, any correspondence from us will still be addressed to the deceased person.

    If you decide to put the safe custody facility in the surviving facility-holder’s name, we’ll need to close it, then open a new one in the new holder’s name.

  • Superannuation

    If your loved one has an Essential Super1 account with CommBank, contact our Essential Super team on 13 40 74 Mon – Fri, 8am – 7pm (Sydney / Melbourne time)

    When we hear from you, we’ll stop any premiums for insurance held in their super account. Once we’ve reviewed the claim, we’ll also refund any premiums charged after the date of their death.

  • Life Insurance

    If your loved one has life insurance, you should contact the insurer to cancel their cover and to find out if you’re able to make a claim.

    Life Insurance policies purchased through CommBank are managed by AIA Australia. You can contact AIA on 1800 333 613 Mon – Fri, 8am – 6pm.

  • Car, home and contents 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 Mon – Fri, 8am – 8pm, or Saturday 8am – 5pm (Sydney/ Melbourne time)

  • Business accounts and facilities

    Business accounts, loans or facilities (including merchant terminals) may be stopped to prevent further transactions, like periodic payments or direct debit authorities. This also means that any cheques made out to this stopped account will be returned unpaid.

    Let us know immediately if you need us to keep making crucial business payments e.g. wages or bills. You’ll need to confirm this in writing signed by either

    • The executor or next of kin
    • A single director (for companies where there are up to two directors), or at least two directors (for companies where there are three or more directors)
    • The chairman, secretary or treasurer
    • A trustee
    • A single director for the trustee (for trusts where there are up to two directors), or at least two directors for the trustee (for trusts where there are three or more directors).

    You can send us invoices and bills that the business needs to pay. We’ll assess each request and let you know the outcome.

    Send documents to:

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

    Or take them into your nearest branch.

    As a security measure, we’ll stop any debit and credit cards linked to the deceased’s business accounts - no one will be able to use these cards. Some regular payments will stop but others may continue. We can give you a list of the regular payments on the deceased’s accounts.

    Joint business accounts

    If the deceased had a joint business account with someone else, we’ll need to close it and open a new one in the name of the new business owner(s). If they don’t already bank with us, they’ll need to complete an ID check in branch. Here’s a list of documents to take to the nearest CommBank branch.

    The deceased’s business Relationship Manager can also help.

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

Other account types

  • If your loved one held accounts with other Commonwealth Bank Group teams or affiliates, please let them know as each has its own estate settlement process.

    • Colonial First State: 13 13 36
    • Commonwealth Bank Business Accounts: 1800 686 153 or contact their Relationship Manager directly
    • Commonwealth Private Banking: 1300 362 081 or contact their Private Banker directly
    • Bankwest: 13 17 19

    If your loved one purchased any life insurance policies through CommBank, these policies are managed by AIA Australia and you can contact AIA on 1800 333 613 to cancel their cover and to find out if you’re able to make a claim.

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 owed by your loved one’s estate.

    If the estate is in financial hardship, explore the ways we can help with Financial Difficulty.

  • Customer Support Service

    CommBank’s Customer Support Service is a confidential and independent counselling service available 24/7 to support customers who are dealing with personal issues. Call 1300 360 793. 

Other organisations can help

Things you should know

  • 1 Avanteos Investments Limited ABN 20 096 259 979, AFSL 245531 (AIL) is the Trustee of Commonwealth Essential Super ABN 56 601 925 435 and the issuer of interests in Essential Super. Essential Super is distributed by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124, AFSL 234945 (the Bank). Colonial First State (CFS) is Superannuation and Investments HoldCo Pty Limited ABN 64 644 660 882 (HoldCo) and its subsidiaries which include AIL. The Bank holds an interest in CFS through its significant minority interest in HoldCo.

    This information is issued by AIL and may include general financial product advice but does not consider your individual objectives, financial situation, needs or tax circumstances. The Target Market Determination (TMD) for Essential Super can be found at cfs.com.au/tmd and includes a description of who the financial product is appropriate for and any conditions on how the product can be distributed to customers. You should read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and the Reference Guide for Essential Super carefully and consider whether the information is appropriate for you before making any decision regarding this product. Download the PDS and Reference Guide at commbank.com.au/essentialsuper-documents or call us on 13 4074 for a copy. Neither the Bank, AIL, CFS, nor any of their respective subsidiaries guarantee the performance of Essential Super or the repayment of capital by Essential Super. An investment in this product is subject to risk, loss of income and capital invested. An investment in Essential Super is via a superannuation trust and is therefore not an investment in, deposit with or other liability of the Bank or its subsidiaries. Where we mention ‘we’, ‘us’ or ‘our’, we mean AIL.

    The insurance provider is AIA Australia Limited ABN 79 004 837 861, AFSL 230043 (AIA Australia). AIA Australia is not part of the Commonwealth Bank Group. The insurance cover is provided under policies issued to the Trustee.