A deceased estate can be difficult to handle, but the process can be easier if you know a few details involved with how such estates are managed after someone passes away. This estate means not just their property and bank accounts but also credit cards and loans as well. Note a few factors to remember about a deceased estate in Australia and then discuss your concerns with a lawyer specializing in such estates, if you still need assistance.
The executor of a person's estate is responsible for notifying businesses where the person had accounts, as well as for ensuring the deceased's outstanding debts and taxes are paid as required. If there is more than one executor, they manage these responsibilities equally. Note too that the executor usually has final say over a person's funeral arrangements, and these funeral expenses can be paid for from a deceased estate. A lawyer can assist with managing these reimbursements and for instructing the executor as to what funeral expenses can be paid from the estate.
A lawyer can also assist with handling any outstanding tax bills the deceased person may have had and with filing any tax returns as needed for the year of their passing. As this responsibility also falls to the executor of the deceased estate, it's good to get legal advice if you're unsure of how to handle these tax responsibilities properly.
Joint credit cards
The second person listed on a credit card typically can no longer use that card after a death notice has been filed. They can, however, apply for a new card with just their name. Often this means visiting a local branch; some credit card issuers may even have an online form they can simply fill out to have a new card issued.
Sole credit cards
Typically credit cards that are in the name of the deceased alone need to be paid off from the money in their estate. If they had a bank account at the same location as their credit card, the bank may withdraw the balance on the credit card from that account before releasing it to the executor of the estate. It's good to note this as you don't want to expect to receive the full balance of a person's bank account after they pass away if it might be used for their debt first.
For assistance with deceased estates, talk to a lawyer.
Welcome! My name is Jessica, and I work as a legal aid secretary. I am in awe of the lawyers in my office and the variety of cases they cover. From injury compensation to family court matters, they need to understand the law in a broad range of areas. As a legal secretary, it is often my job to research particular points of law or find certain cases for reference. It is a fascinating job and I work hard to keep up with the constant changes to our laws and legal processes. Friends and family often ask me for direction on legal matters and whilst I explain that I am no expert, I usually manage to provide sound advice. This blog is for people who share my passion for the law or who want to understand more about our legal system. I hope you find it engaging and useful.