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Deceased Estates

2019-06-28

How to claim under a deceased estate?If you are responsible for the estate of a deceased person or if you are entitled to funds we hold for a deceased customer you can visit a Retail Branch where we can provide you with the information to help start the process.

The documents listed below will assist the branch to help settle the Estate.

1. Documents we will require from you

  • Death Certificate - original or certified copy
  • Will (if there is a will) - original or certified copy
  • Estate Declaration form - if Probate is not being obtained
  • Grant of Probate - may be required depending on the assets of the Estate. We'll let the you know if this is needed once the Estate has been reviewed
  • Letters of Administration (if there is no will) - may be require if there is no valid Will. We will let the Next of Kin know if this is needed once the Estate has been reviewed.

2. Other information we may ask you

  • Account numbers for any account held by the deceased with Bank of China
  • Contact details of the Executor/s acting on behalf of the Estate
  • Address details of any property we may hold as security

3. Identification of persons claiming

We will need to identify you and all persons administrating the Estate.

Unless you are already a customer of Bank of China we are required to obtain your identification information.

We can usually identify you from:

  • Australian Driver's Licence; or
  • Australian Passport (current or expired not more than 2 years from the date) or Foreign Passport (current)

4. Locating accounts

If you provide original or certified copies of the Death Certificate and Will (or Letters of Administration), we will locate accounts held by the deceased.

We will notify you, the Executor, the Administrator or your solicitor of what accounts are held with us and if any other documents are needed for the release of funds the settlement of those accounts.

5. Release of account funds

Once all relevant forms are completed and all information provided to our satisfaction, we will release of the funds held in accounts to the Executor/Administrator/Solicitor.

We can only release funds by bank cheque payable in the name of the Estate, or by depositing funds directly into account controlled by the Executor/Administrator 'Estate of' account.

6. Funeral Expenses

You may be able to access money from the deceased's account for funeral costs

  • You can access money for funeral expenses from the available Estate funds. We require an original tax invoice for those expenses. Funds will be paid directly to the funeral provider.
  • To recover funeral expenses that have already been paid, we require evidence of payment (e.g. receipt, copy of bank statement) with the invoice before we can process the payment. Funds will be directed to you or to the person to be reimbursed.
  • If the account balance does not cover the total invoice for funeral costs, we may pay the balance of the account to the funeral director as a part payment.

7. Joint Accounts

  • If the deceased person is an account holder of a joint transaction or at call account or term deposit, the funds in the account will not form part of the deceased Estate.
  • The account will become the property of the remaining joint account holder/holders.
  • When we receive the Death Certificate we will change the ownership of the account to the surviving joint account holders.

8. Business Accounts

  • An estate's right to the deceased's interest in a Business Accounts may require legal advice.
  • Talk to our Retail Branch staff to find out what may be required.

9. Safe Deposit Boxes

  • As part of the process of locating accounts held by the deceased we will inform you of any Safe Deposit Boxes held by the deceased.
  • The documents and identification processes above must be provided for a claim to access a safe deposit box. If you do not have the key to the box, additional costs for drilling the box may be incurred and you will be responsible for these.
  • If there are joint hirers of a Safe Deposit Box we cannot give access to a deceased's representatives as the rights to the box will belong to the surviving joint hirer/hirers.

10. Loan Accounts

  • Banks have a right of set off and can set off amounts held in accounts against amounts owed to the bank under a loan agreement.
  • Any surplus funds after set off will be released when we have established the appropriate authority to claim the funds.
  • If you have any questions in relation to any outstanding loan accounts, please contact one of our Retail Branches.

11. Joint loan accounts

  • Joint accounts can be amended to the joint account holder's name if the title of any security for the loan has also been changed.
  • It is expected that the account would be operated within its original terms.
  • The original loan may have been partially assessed on the income of the deceased. If remaining borrowers experience financial difficulties maintaining payments, please contact us for help.