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Simple Estate Administration Checklist for Executors

This checklist has been written to help you to finalise a deceased person’s estate. It gives information on what to do for estates with  jointly held assets.

Assets/Holdings Action Required Checked
Real Estate – Joint Tenants
  • Ownership of the property will automatically pass to the other surviving owner/s.
  • The death of the joint owner must be registered at the Lands Titles Office, and we recommend that a registered conveyancer prepare the necessary documentation.
  • If the property is held as tenants in common a formal administration will be required.
Bank Accounts – Joint Account
  • If the surviving account holder is a signatory to the joint account(s), then the account(s) can be closed by the surviving signatory.
  • The full balance can then be transferred into an account in the survivor’s own name.
  • The bank/financial institution will require a certified copy of the death certificate of the deceased person.
Shares/Debentures/Unit Trusts – Joint Account
  • The companies that manage these accounts will require a survivorship application to be completed.
  • You will need to know the SRN (Shareholder Registration Number) which can be found on any correspondence from the company to the deceased person (e.g. accounts, letters, etc.).
Motor Vehicles – Joint
  • Contact Service SA to advise of the death of the deceased person, and request a transfer of ownership to the surviving joint owner’s name.
  • Service SA can provide further advice on the process of transferring ownership.
Boats – Joint
  • Contact Service SA to advise of the death of the deceased person, and request a transfer of ownership to the surviving joint owner’s name.
  • Service SA can provide further advice on the process of transferring ownership.
Services Action Required Checked
Utilities
  • Contact all telephone, electricity, gas and other utility providers to advise of the death of the deceased person
SA Water/Council Rates
  • No action is required as the change in ownership of the property will be noted once the death has been registered with the Lands Titles Office.
Post Office
  • Organise to have mail redirected (if necessary).
Health Care Action Required Checked
Medicare
  • If the Medicare Card is in joint names then contact your nearest Medicare Office to advise them of the death of the deceased person.
  • If the Medicare Card is in name of the deceased person only then return their card to Medicare.
Private Health Cover
  • Contact the deceased person’s health insurance provider to advise them of the death.
SA Ambulance
  • Contact SA Ambulance if the deceased person had ambulance cover to advise them of the death.
  • They will provide details about how to return the deceased person’s SA Ambulance card.
Other Action Required Checked
Seniors Card
  • Contact the Seniors Card Unit to advise them of the death.
  • They will provide details about how to return the deceased person’s Seniors Card relevant card.
Store account credit card
  • Contact all stores with which the deceased person had a store card to advise them of the death.
  • They will provide details about how to return the deceased person’s store card.
Liabilities
  • Contact in writing anyone who is owed money by the deceased person (e.g. a nursing home, chemist, newsagents, Meals on Wheels, Royal District Nursing Service, etc.) to advise them of the death.
  • Request a copy of the final account.
Pensions
  • Advise the appropriate pension office (which may include Centrelink, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and possibly organisations internationally if the deceased person received a pension from another country) of the death.
  • They will provide details about how to return the deceased person’s pension and/or concession cards.
  • Advise any superannuation fund.
Accommodation
  • If the deceased person was renting then you will need to advise the landlord (if they were renting privately), or Housing SA (if they were renting public housing).
Insurance
  • Write to all of the deceased person’s insurance companies and advise them of the death.
  • The deceased person may have had insurance for buildings, contents, and/or motor vehicles (including boats and motorcycles).
  • You will need to advise the insurance company if a property becomes vacant.
Electoral Roll
  • There is no requirement to advise the Electoral Office as they will be advised by Births Deaths & Marriages.
Australian Taxation Office
  • It may be necessary to lodge a date of death tax return.
  • Contact your tax agent or Public Trustee for more information and advice.
Driver’s Licence
  • You will need to surrender the deceased person’s driver’s licence.
  • Contact Service SA to find out how to do this.
Cyber Assets
  • You may also need to consider dealing with any cyber assets such as websites, email account or Facebook accounts owned by the deceased person.

Many of these organisations will require a certified copy of the deceased person’s Death Certificate.