Loss of a loved one - Deceased Estates

We know that losing a family member, friend or business partner can be an incredibly difficult time. We’re here to help make the process as easy as possible.

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We have set out some steps below to assist you with the management of a deceased estate.

Please note that this information is intended to be a guide for managing a deceased estate. It does not consider your specific circumstances and is not intended to be financial or legal advice. If you are unsure about how to manage a deceased estate, we recommend that you seek legal guidance. 

 

 

As soon as you can please let us know that someone has passed away by emailing us

You will need to provide us with some documents before we can provide you with any account information (e.g. whether the deceased person held an account with us, and/or the account balances). Please see Step 2 for what documents we may require.

Please be aware that until we are notified of a deceased customers passing, their account can still be accessed. This means any automatic payments or direct debits can still go out of the account and other signatories who have access to the account can still access it. It is important that you contact us as soon as you can, so that we can help you to protect the accounts.

We may be required to block the account(s) which means Internet/Mobile banking and any debit cards attached to the account can no longer be used to access the account. Any automatic payments or direct debits will also be cancelled.

 

 

We will need to receive some of the following documents. There may be certain situations where we require additional documentation based on individual circumstances.

 

  • Certified copy of the Death Certificate;
  • Certified copy of ID and proof of address for the Executor(s)/Administrator(s);
  • Certified copy of the Will/Probate (with Will attached) or Letters of Administration;
  • If a Solicitor is involved, a signed letter from all Executor(s) appointing that Solicitor to act;
  • Letter of instruction or Account Closure Form confirming the account name and number for transferral of the closing balance of the account, signed by all Executors/Administrators or the appointed Solicitor.
All of the above information, documents and enquiries can be sent to us via:

Email

You can email us at:
deceased.estates@rabobank.com

Post

You can post documents to us:
Deceased Estates Team
PO Box 19 373, Hamilton 3244

Power of Attorney (including Enduring Power of Attorney)

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives a trusted person the right to operate someone's account on their behalf. A Power of Attorney only applies while the person who appointed the Attorney is alive. Once that person passes away, the Power of Attorney comes to an end and cannot be used to access a deceased customer's account or administer an estate.

 

Depending on the type of account held with us, here’s what we will do:

 

Rabobank Online Savings Accounts


Individual Accounts

If the deceased customer held an Online Savings account with us in an individual name, we will block the account for all payments, until we have received the information in Step 2.

For funds in a Term Deposit or in a NoticeSaver account, we can release the funds prior to the end of the term once we have received the information in Step 2. There will not be any break fees to end a Term Deposit before its maturity date or to withdraw funds from a NoticeSaver prior to the 60 days’ required notice. The original Term Deposit maturity instructions will remain the same until the account closure is requested. You are unable to move funds or open a new Term Deposit or NoticeSaver account (including after Probate or Letters of Administration are granted) on behalf of the deceased customer’s estate as Rabobank does not offer Deceased Estate accounts.


Joint Accounts

If the Online Savings account was held jointly with another account holder, we will transfer the ownership of the account into the sole name of the other account holder. We may ask for further information from you before we can convert the account. In this instance, access to Internet/Mobile banking will not be blocked.


Trust and Business Accounts

These accounts do not form part of the deceased customer’s estate. If the deceased customer has one of these accounts, we will need the surviving trustee(s)/director(s) to contact us to make changes.

 

Agri-banking Accounts

 

Individual Accounts

If the deceased customer held an Individual account, we will block the account for all payments until we have received the information in Step 2.

Joint, Company, Partnership and Trust Accounts

If the deceased customer held a joint account, or was a director, trustee, or partner of a business, the deceased customer’s Agribusiness Manager (if they had one) or another Rabobank staff member will work with the other account owners to determine a strategy for the account going forward. We may be required to block the account while we receive information regarding the deceased customer.

Please note that Trust, Company and Partnership accounts do not generally form part of the deceased customer’s estate. If the deceased customer has one of these accounts, we will need the surviving trustee(s), director(s) or partners to contact us.

 

 

 

 

If you can no longer access your day-to-day finances after the passing of a loved one, please call or email us.

 

Funeral Expenses

If you require funds to cover funeral expenses while the estate is being finalised, please provide the following information to us so that we may consider payment:

Please note: We’ll consider requests for the payment of funeral expenses on a case-by-case basis. Payment of funeral expenses is only available for Individual and Joint accounts, and the payment will be made directly to the Funeral Home/Funeral Director or the Estate’s Solicitor who may then pay the invoice directly.

 

Helpful Information

You can find other helpful information online to guide you and your family through this challenging time:

 

Disclaimer
The links to the above websites are provided for convenience only. Rabobank New Zealand Limited does not accept any liability as to any websites accuracy or content, and makes no endorsement of the products or services offered by the website owners.

 

  • Certified copy of the Death Certificate; and
  • Certified copy of the Funeral Home/Funeral Director's Invoice; and
  • Certified copy of the Will or Probate (with Will attached) or Letters of Administration; and
  • Copy of the Solicitor’s Trust Account Deposit Slip (if you are using a Solicitor).

  • Te Hokinga ā Wairua End of Life Service is a website which is run by the New Zealand Government. It contains a step-by-step guide to help you manage a deceased person’s affairs. You can visit the website here: End of Life Services
  • MyTrove is a website that allows you to notify one or more organisations of a death. You can visit the website here: My Trove

Administrator

An administrator is a person who is authorised by the High Court to administer a deceased person’s estate when the deceased person dies without a Will.


Beneficiary

A person who inherits funds, property or other benefits from an estate.

 


Death Certificate

A death certificate is an official document issued by the Department of Internal Affairs used to prove that someone has passed away. A death certificate provides specific information, such as the date, place and cause of death.


Deposit Account

A deposit account is a savings account or transaction account. Deposit accounts provided by Rabobank are the Rabobank Online Savings account, the PremiumSaver account, the Term Deposit account and the 60 Day NoticeSaver account.


Direct Debit

A direct debit is a regular payment from a deposit account where a person has given their BSB and account number to allow a merchant or service provider to regularly debit a person’s account to pay for services provided. For example, utility or telephone bills or loan repayments.


Direct Credit (also known as Automatic Payment)

A direct credit is an electronic transfer of funds. The payment is initiated by the payer, which sends funds directly into the bank account of the payee.


Estate

An estate refers to the deceased customer assets. An Executor or Administrator is required to manage a deceased person’s estate. This includes looking after all property and bank accounts held in the name of deceased as well as paying out all debts owed by the deceased from the assets of the estate.


Executor

An executor is a person named in a Will who is responsible for carrying out the instructions of the Will and managing a deceased person’s estate.


Intestate

When someone passes away without leaving a valid Will.


Letters of Administration

Letters of Administration evidence the fact that the court has examined the relevant documents and is satisfied that the person named in the grant is authorised to administer the estate.


Probate

Probate is granted where there is a valid Will and an executor named in the Will is applying. Probate is the High Court’s recognition that a Will is legally valid, which authorises the executor to deal with the estate of the deceased person.


Recurring Payments

Recurring payments are regular payments from a debit or credit card where a person has given their debit or credit card details (card number, expiry date and security code) to a service provider or merchant to charge the person’s credit or debit card on a recurring basis to pay for goods or services provided. For example, gym memberships or utility or telephone bills.


Residuary Estate

What remains of an estate after all expenses have been paid and specific gifts have been provided for.


Testamentary Trust

A testamentary trust is a trust established by a Will. It does not come into effect until after the death of the person making the Will. At this point, specified deceased estate property is transferred to trustee(s) who hold the assets in trust for the beneficiaries. A testamentary trust is not the same trust as the deceased estate. A testamentary trust may last for many years after an estate has been fully administered. The information provided within this document does not apply to testamentary trusts.


Testator/Testatrix

The male and female words for a Will-maker. It is now more common to simply refer to the person as the Will-maker.


Trust Company

Public Trust, Trustees Executors and Perpetual Guardian are Trust Companies that operate in New Zealand and may be able to assist with the administration of an estate.


Will

A written legal instruction of how a person wants their property to be distributed upon their death. To be valid, it must comply with correct legal requirements.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Please note that these FAQs are intended to provide general information only and may not cover all possible scenarios. It is advisable to consult with a legal professional or an estate administration expert for personalized advice related to a specific deceased estate in New Zealand.

A deceased estate refers to the total assets, property, and debts left behind by a person after they pass away. It includes everything they owned, such as real estate, bank accounts, investments, and personal belongings, as well as any outstanding liabilities like mortgages or debts. Administering a deceased estate involves managing these assets, settling debts, and distributing the remaining estate to the beneficiaries as per the deceased person's Will or intestacy laws.

When a person dies without a Will, they die intestate. If a person dies intestate, the closest relative of the deceased person can make an application to the High Court for Letters of Administration. The High Court assesses the application and can appoint an administrator to deal with the deceased’s estate.

In New Zealand, the responsibility for managing a deceased estate primarily falls upon the Executor or Administrator. Here's a short summary of the key individuals involved:

  1. Executor: If the deceased person left a valid Will, they would have named an Executor (or Executors) in the Will. The Executor is responsible for carrying out the deceased person's wishes as outlined in the Will. They ensure that assets of the deceased person’s estate are properly distributed, debts and taxes are paid, and any other necessary legal processes are followed.
  2. Administrator: If the deceased person did not leave a Will (i.e. they died intestate) or did not name an Executor in their will, an Administrator may be appointed by the court to manage the estate. The Administrator typically acts as the personal representative and performs similar duties as an Executor.

It's important to note that the role of managing a deceased estate involves various legal and financial responsibilities. Executors and Administrators may wish to seek professional advice from lawyers, accountants, or estate administration specialists to ensure the estate is handled appropriately and in compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

Probate is a procedure whereby a Will is recognized by the High Court as being authentic.

It is necessary for the Executor(s) of the Will to obtain Probate from the High Court so that they have the legal authority to deal with the deceased’s assets (and liabilities) to enable distribution of the estate in accordance with the will.

A Probate Order is usually granted by the Registrar of the High Court after receiving an application from the Executor(s). It involves establishing that it was in fact the testator (maker of the Will) who died, that the will was properly signed and attested (authentic), and that the Executor(s) have been appointed.

Letters of Administration is the formal process of applying to the High Court to have an Administrator appointed to administer an estate where someone has died intestate (i.e. without a Will). On intestacy the Administration Act 1969 sets out how a deceased’s assets are to be distributed. Usually a person with a beneficial entitlement to the estate will most often be appointed as Administrator, but who this will be and whose consent may be required can be complex.

The process for obtaining Probate or Letters of Administration can vary depending on the complexity of the estate, the specific circumstances, and any potential disputes or legal issues that may arise. Seeking legal advice or assistance from professionals experienced in estate administration is highly recommended to ensure compliance with the legal requirements and to navigate the process smoothly.

Yes. Smaller estates do not require Probate/Letters of Administration. It is not necessary to apply for Probate if the total value of the estate, excluding joint assets, is valued under $15,000. However, if the estate includes the ownership of land or an interest in land, Probate will be required regardless of the value of the estate.

If the total value of funds held by Rabobank for the deceased customer is under $15,000, and Probate or Letters of Administration are not being applied for, we can pay out the funds held to a person who applies under the customer’s Will, provided we have a certified copy of the deceased customer’s Death Certificate, and a signed original copy of Rabobank’s Declaration and Claim to the Credit of a Deceased Customer Indemnity form.

Where a customer has died intestate (i.e. without a Will), we can pay out the funds held to a person who signs this Declaration and Indemnity Form, provided we have received a certified copy of the deceased customer’s Death Certificate.

By signing the Declaration and Indemnity form, the applicant declares that they are entitled to withdraw the funds held by Rabobank and agrees to reimburse Rabobank if the funds are incorrectly paid.

As the surviving joint account owner, you can continue to use this account as your own. Once we have received the deceased customer’s Death Certificate and a secure message or telephone call from the surviving joint account owner, we will convert the account to an individual account in the name of the surviving account owner.

No. However, you may be able to access funds to pay for funeral expenses. Please contact deceased.estates@rabobank.com for more information.