Does your estate’s executor know who you bank with?

HOT TIP: Your family doesn’t have to dip into their own savings to pay for your funeral. They can dip into your bank account.

Banks have dedicated estate management teams so, when you die, your next of kin or estate’s executor can sit down with the bank and they’ll talk them through ‘what comes next’.

BUT does your executor, solicitor, or next of kin know which bank to approach?

This is important because, if there are enough funds in your account, the bank can pay for your farewell on your behalf. Most funeral directors need payment before the funeral so knowing which bank you’re with will help when there’s only a week or so before your funeral.

To make this happen, the person organising the funeral needs to provide the original tax invoice to the bank. Alternatively, the funeral organiser can claim for costs already paid by sending the original invoice and the tax receipt with your name clearly stated.

Of course, if you’ve already organised a pre-paid funeral or have funeral insurance etc, they should know about that too!

Don’t take all these important secrets to the grave. Ahead of Dying To Know Day on August 8, I’ve put together the top 10 things your estate’s executor or next of kin will need to know about you to settle your affairs. If you didn’t sign up for the free checklist when you came to this website, you can request it by emailing me at info@thebottomdrawerbook.com.au. Once you’ve downloaded it and filled it in, perhaps tuck it into the cover of The Bottom Drawer Book: the after death action plan so it can be found promptly.

BANK$ AND DECEASED ESTATE$ INQUIRY

While we’re talking banks, they’re currently under the spotlight. They’re being assessed for their compliance with Chapter 45 of the Banking Code of Practice.

A few years ago, the Banking Royal Commission revealed some pretty dodgy behaviour by some of our banks. They were even slugging dead people fees and charges.

The impacts of banks not doing the right thing can be significant because settling an estate can be very distressing for people experiencing bereavement.

So, the Banking Code Compliance Committee is running an inquiry looking at whether banks:

  • Treat customers’ representatives and next of kin with respect and compassion
  • Provide clear and accessible information on how to manage a deceased customer’s account
  • Identify and stop charging fees for banking services that are no longer being provided
  • Provide info about a deceased customer’s accounts to their representative or next of kin prior to the grant of probate or letters of administration
  • Allow customers with joint accounts to continue to operate said accounts if their fellow joint account holder dies.

If you’ve had an experience with a bank after someone in your life died, Prue Monument from the Compliance Committee is asking for your feedback, telling ABC radio, “We want to hear from consumers about their actual experience including the good and the not-so-good. We want to be able to identify and share examples of good practice across the sector so we can help other banks improve.

 “We also want to hear about those experiences that weren’t so good so we can make specific recommendations on how banks can improve and get better outcomes for people,” said Ms Monument.

A survey is running until mid-August, 2022. You’ll find it here bankingcode.org.au or you can email your estate experiences with banks, good or bad, to info@codecompliance.org.au.

 “We want to hear from consumers about their actual experience Including the good and the not-so-good because we want to be able to identify and share examples of good practice across the sector so we can help others banks improve.

 “We also want to hear about those experiences that weren’t so good so we can make specific recommendations on how banks can improve and get better outcomes for people,” she said.

The Committee will report the results publicly later this year.

About the author

Author Lisa Herbert

Lisa Herbert is a death awareness advocate, a cemetery wanderer, journalist, and author of The Bottom Drawer Book: the after death action plan – an informative, modern, and quirky workbook and funeral planning guide for those who want to prepare for the inevitable. The third edition is available in Australia for $29.95.  For international buyers, The Bottom Drawer eBook is AU$12.99 on Apple Books, Kobo, Booktopia and Google Books. To purchase, click HERE.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Posts

The Bottom Drawer Book blogs: Contents page

Some of these blogs took weeks of research. The more we learn about death and its rituals, the more comfortable we become with them and our own mortality. I hope these blogs are helpful as you come to terms with your finite existence.

Read More

The consequence of scattering ‘ashes’

You may have seen the video of Swans support Krystal Clayton scattering of ashes of her nan at the SCG. There are things you should know if you’re planning to do something similar. Ashes are certainly not environmentally or sportsfield friendly.

Read More