Deceased Estates

Dealing with the death of a loved one is hard enough, without making final arrangements for their banking and estate. Thankfully, help is at hand.

Helping you through life's changes

This guide has been created specifically to help you finalise your loved one’s banking arrangements with CUA. It contains some general information which you might find useful during the immediate time following their passing, including the funeral. You’ll also find contact details for organisations, support services and government departments who may be able to assist you, too.

Once you’ve notified us of the passing, it’s important you take your time to grieve. Then, when you’re ready, come back to us to handle the estate matters. Our Deceased Estates team are here, ready to support you.

Please note, if you need advice on dealing with the deceased estate process, including the administration of the estate, the obligations of an executor or applying for probate, you should contact your financial advisor or solicitor.

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Banking Matters

With the passing of a loved one, it’s important you notify CUA to ensure their assets are protected. Anyone may notify us, either by visiting a CUA branch, calling 133 282 or notifying us in writing. Our Deceased Estates Team will then be in touch with the executor to resolve the estate.

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What's CUA's process for handling a Deceased Estate?

Below is a general guide on the process of an estate, as well as what to expect from notifying CUA of the passing, right up to the final administration of your loved one’s banking arrangements.

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Notification

You will need to notify CUA of the deceased. Anyone may notify us by either visiting a CUA branch, calling us on 133 282 or notifying us in writing. Our Deceased Estates Team will then be in touch to notify you of the next steps to resolving the estate. A Deceased Member Advice form will also be mailed to you for completion.

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Certified or Original Documents

Depending on the value of the estate, certain documents will be required to finalise the estate process:

Estate value less than $15,000.00

Estate value less than $15,000.00 Hide

If there is a Will:

  • Certified copy of Death Certificate
  • Signed payee instructions
  • Certification of Identity Form for each executor/administrator that is not a CUA Member

If there is no Will or the Will is invalid:

  • Certified copy of Letters of Administration when obtained
  • Certified copy of Death Certificate
  • Signed payee instructions
  • Certification of Identity Form for each executor/administrator that is not a CUA Member

If there is a Will:

  • Grant of Probate with the Will annexed
  • Certified copy of Death Certificate
  • Signed payee instructions
  • Certification of Identity Form for each executor/administrator that is not a CUA Member

If there is no Will or the Will is invalid:

  • Certified copy of Letters of Administration when obtained
  • Certified copy of Death Certificate
  • Signed payee instructions
  • Certification of Identity Form for each executor/administrator that is not a CUA Member
  • Certification of Identity Form for executor/administrator as legal representative of the estate

*CUA records identification details for all current members so there is no need for us to ask for this information again

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Helpful documents

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Some helpful definitions

We understand that the process of handling a deceased estate can sometimes be quite overwhelming and a little confusing. Some terminology used for an estate may sound a little odd or perhaps you may never have come across it before.

Below are some common terminology you may come in to contact with when you are working through the deceased estate process at CUA.

Administration of a Deceased Estate

This means following the terms of a deceased person’s Will
to ensure their intentions are followed in finalising their estate. This is a regulated process and can include transferring assets
or gifts to beneficiaries, converting assets into cash, closing bank accounts, transferring shares, selling a house, transferring interest in business etc. The administration of a deceased estate is governed by legislation in each state.

Beneficiary

This is the person (or people) named in the Will who will receive assets from the deceased estate. If the deceased person did not leave a Will, the beneficiaries may be determined in accordance with the legislation in the relevant state.

Bequest

This is the process of gifting personal property through a Will.

Codicil

Any document which has the legal effect of adding to or amending the terms of an existing Will.

Enduring Power of Attorney

This is a legal document which appoints a trusted person (or people) to deal with or manage financial and health decisions on your behalf. Importantly, an Enduring Power of Attorney automatically ceases on the passing of the principal.

Executor

This is the person, institution or entity appointed to administer the deceased estate. The administration of the estate may be complex, and the executor may need to seek legal advice or other assistance with carrying out the administration.

Grant of Probate (also known as “Probate”)

This is a certificate issued by a court which authorises the executor to carry out the administration of the estate of the deceased person. Probate confirms the Last Will of the deceased person, and grants the executor the right to administer the estate of the deceased person. CUA may require Probate be produced in order to close
the deceased’s bank accounts and release the funds held in those accounts in accordance with the executor’s instructions.

Guardian

This is a person who you appoint to be legally responsible and
care for any children. The guardian will take control of the important decisions about a child’s welfare including who will care for them, their education and where they will live. You are also able to appoint a guardian for a person who is incapable of making decision in regards to their living arrangements and personal health due to a mental incapacity/disability. An application is made to a court in the relevant state for a guardianship order to be made.

Intestacy

This term applies when a person dies without executing a Will. In this situation, the law determines who receives the assets of the deceased person’s estate.

Joint Tenancy

This describes a form of ownership. If you own property as a joint tenant with another person, you own the property equally with the other person. When a joint tenant dies, that person’s share of the property passes to the surviving joint tenant.

Letters of Administration

Letters of Administration are obtained where a person dies intestate. The legislation in each state determines who the person (or people) are who can administer the estate of the deceased person. That person then applies for a document called “Letters of Administration” through the relevant state court.

Residue

This is the portion of the estate of a deceased person which remains after payment of all just debts, funeral and other expenses and provision is made for any specific gifts by the Will. In other words, the residue of an estate is all the assets which are left over

Tenants in Common

This also describes a form of ownership. Unlike joint tenancy however, when a person owns property as a tenant in common, that person’s interest does not automatically transfer to the other property owner. If you have a Will, your interest in the property
is transferred pursuant to the instructions in your Will.

Testamentary Trust

A testamentary trust is a trust created by a Will and arises on the death of the testator.

Testator/Testatrix

This is the person who has made and validly executed a Will or Testamentary Trust.