We understand that the death of a family member or friend is an emotional and complex time. To assist we have provided a step-by-step guide to make it as easy as possible for you in going through the process.
This information will provide members with practical guidance for dealing with accounts held with us as well as the appropriate people to contact. This information is a guide only and general in nature. Requirements will vary depending on the individual circumstances of the deceased and the manner in which the account was opened with Defence Bank or its third parties.
Our bereavement guide outlines these steps in a PDF format.
Use the deceased members letter of authority to give Defence Bank payment instructions for a deceased member.
What you need to know.
Step 1 – Contact us.
When a family member or friend has passed away, you can let us know through any of the below options:
- Defence Bank have partnered with the Australian Death Notification Service (ADNS) to help simplify the deceased estate administration process.
The ADNS is a free, national service that enables an individual to notify multiple organisations of a death through one simple, secure online platform.
The ADNS validates details of the deceased person against the Australian Death Check (ADC) and supplies this information to relevant organisations selected to notify.
- Calling our team on 1800 033 139 between 8am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday AEST/AEDT.
- Emailing our Deceased Estates team at email@example.com.
- Visiting your local Defence Bank branch.
After you have submitted your notification, you will be contacted by Defence Bank within 10 business days to guide you through the next steps.
Step 2 – Provide us with certain documents and forms.
Use the checklist below and provide the documents and forms to us.
We will require you, as the estate representative, to provide us with a certified copy of your identification so we can identify you.
Once identified, we can provide you with account information and our requirements to finalise the deceased’s accounts.
To make things easier, you can bring the original documents to any Defence Bank branch. Our Bank Officers may have the authority to certify copies of the original documents. Alternatively, you can mail signed certified copies of the document directly to our team at:
Defence Bank – Deceased Memberships
PO BOX 14537
Melbourne Vic 8001
It is important that the copy of your identification has been certified by an authorised person such as a Justice of the Peace, Solicitor, a Bank Officer or a Police Officer and the original copy is provided to Defence Bank. Find out who is authorised to certify documents in Australia.
Required document checklist:
- Death Certificate (an original certified copy).
- Will (an original certified copy).
- Probate of the Will (may be required depending on the accounts and other assets of the deceased).
- Letters of Administration (may be required if there is no valid Will and the accounts and other assets of the deceased exceed a specified dollar amount which varies between state).
Note: These requirements are a guide only, and we will notify the estate representative of our requirements once these documents have been reviewed.
Once the above documentation has been supplied, the Deceased Estates Team will provide you with the correct form(s) to complete based upon your situation.
When you are providing us with these documents, please also provide any other information about the deceased that may be relevant. For example, bank account numbers you believe the deceased person held or the address of any property that may be mortgaged to Defence Bank or its entities.
Our team will review the documents and will also identify if the deceased held investments in any Defence Bank products, such as a Retirement Savings Account and Defence Bank Superannuation. The information and documentation required for these products will vary, so the estate representative should contact us on 1800 033 139 to discuss in more detail.
Step 3 – Review process and provide further information if required.
Our team will review the information provided and determine what accounts and products were held by the deceased person as at the date of death with Defence Bank and any of its entities.
The Deceased Memberships team will also determine whether any additional documents are necessary for the release of funds and repayment of any debts.
Step 4 – Release.
Depending on the circumstances of the deceased and the documents provided, the estate representative may be required to complete additional documents, including statutory declarations, prior to the release of funds.
The Deceased Memberships team will contact the estate representative with any additional requirements.
There are a number of related matters that need to be considered by the estate representative in the administration of the affairs of the deceased, for example:
If there are sufficient funds held in the accounts of the deceased, Defence Bank can arrange for the payment of the deceased's funeral expenses. The estate representative can attend one of our branches with the original funeral account and we will arrange for payment of the account from funds held for the deceased. The payment will usually be done by direct deposit to the funeral director, not to the estate representative.
If the funeral account has already been paid, then we can arrange for a reimbursement of the paid funeral account. Please provide the original invoice and receipt and provide us with the banking details of the person who paid the account. Subject to verification, a refund of the paid account will be made by direct deposit or cheque to the person who paid the funeral account.
If the deceased held an account in joint names with another person, then the ownership of the account automatically transfers to the surviving account holder(s).
The joint account title can be transferred into the name of the surviving joint account holder(s) by presenting an originally signed certified copy of the death certificate for the deceased account holder to one of our branches or mailed directly to the Defence Bank Deceased Memberships team in Melbourne.
Note: This may not apply to credit cards, personal loans or home and investment loans. Additional documentation is generally required in these circumstances.
Once the authorised person(s) has satisfied the requirements for finalising accounts that are solely owned by the deceased, we will close all accounts and pay out funds as per the instructions provided by the authorised person(s). Depending on the circumstances, funds may be paid to the estate, a solicitor’s trust account, or in limited circumstances, the next of kin.
Personal loans, credit cards and overdrafts.
For any amounts owing on overdrawn accounts, credit cards or personal loans, Defence Bank reserves the right to set off the credit balance of any of the deceased’s deposit accounts against any debt owing by the deceased. For example, funds from an everyday banking, savings or investment account may be used to clear overdrafts, credit cards and personal loans of the deceased person. This is explained in the Defence Bank Product and Services - Conditions of Use.
However, if there are no available funds to cover the amounts owing on overdrawn accounts, credit cards or personal loans, we will contact the estate representative directly. Generally, if there are still funds owing in overdrawn accounts, credit cards or personal loans, then we will require payment of any balance from other assets owned by the deceased (the estate).
Any home loans in the sole name of the deceased will need to be repaid either by selling the security property or from other assets owned by the deceased. Our team will be the point of contact and will liaise with the appropriate parties during this process.
For home loans in the joint name of the deceased and another party, the surviving owner(s) will be responsible for servicing the mortgage going forward as stated in original loan contract. Our team can assist with any enquiries you may have regarding this.
The Estate of the late memberships.
If you require to open a membership in the name of the Estate of the late please complete the deceased estate membership application form and provide the below verification documents via post or at a branch.
Defence Bank requires the following externally certified documents to open a membership of the Estate of the Late.
- Death certificate.
- Letter of administration if a Will is not available.
- Photographic identification of the Executor(s) or an Administrator(s).
1800 033 139 - available between 8am and 4.30pm (AEST/AEDT) Monday to Friday.
Defence Bank – Deceased Memberships
PO BOX 14537
Melbourne Vic 8001