What to do when someone dies

We're here to help

We understand it can be a difficult time when you’ve recently lost a friend or family member. We want to make it easy for you to sort out their finances, including any ANZ accounts.

We’ve put together information to help guide you through the financial things you’ll need to think about.

There are 4 main steps:

Tell us when someone has passed away

If you haven’t already done so, you or your solicitor can let us know when someone has passed away. You can do this by visiting any ANZ branch or calling us on 0800 269 296.

If possible, please bring in a copy of your ID and a copy of the death certificate.

When you contact us we can go through everything with you.

We will let you know the next steps and what documents you may need to provide.

We understand there’s a lot to deal with when someone passes away. But it’s important to know that until you do tell us, their account can continue to be used. This means payments can still go out of the account and other signatories who have access can still withdraw money.

Next step: We'll take steps to protect the accounts.

Once you tell us, we’ll stop the accounts to help protect them 

until the estate can be sorted out.

Here’s what we do for each account type:

Individual accounts
Joint bank accounts
Term deposits
Lending – including home loans, personal loans, overdrafts, or credit cards
Mortgage
Trust accounts
Business accounts
Insurance
KiwiSaver and other investments

Next step: You'll need to provide some documents.

You'll provide us with documents and instructions

Death Certificate

We will always need a copy of the death certificate.

What is it?

A death certificate is an official document issued by Births, Deaths, and Marriages, containing registered information about a person’s death.

How do you get it?

Under New Zealand law, you must let Births, Deaths, and Marriages know about all deaths in New Zealand within 3 working days of that person’s burial or cremation. The person in charge of the funeral arrangements, like a funeral director, will collect all the information needed and send this to Births, Deaths, and Marriages, for registration. You can find information on what to do on the Department of Internal Affair’s website, www.dia.govt.nz.

Once registered, Births, Deaths, and Marriages will issue a death certificate — there may be a fee you’ll need to pay.

Probate

When we need it?

We will need a copy of probate if there is a will and more than $15,000 in their accounts with us.

What is it?

Probate is a term used where someone had a will and the person or people named as executor in the will apply to the Court to have the will declared valid. The Court will give the executors authority to deal with the deceased person’s affairs. You may hear this called a ‘grant of probate’.

We recommend you speak with a lawyer or other adviser about whether you’ll need probate.

How do you get it?

The executor will need to lodge particular documents with the High Court. We recommend you speak with a lawyer or other adviser about how to do this.

Letters of administration

When we need it?

We will need a copy of letters of administration if there wasn't a will, but there is more than $15,000 in their accounts with us.

What is it?

Letters of administration is a term used where someone has died without a will and they’ve left assets over a certain value.

How do you get it?

Someone, usually a family member of the deceased, will apply to the Court for authority to deal with the deceased’s affairs. You may hear this called a ‘grant of letters of administration’. The person the Court appoints to act is called ‘the administrator’. The administrator will share out the estate in the order set out in the Administration Act.

We recommend you speak with a lawyer or other adviser about whether you’ll need letters of administration.

Deceased Estates Claim and Closure Form

When we need it?

If we’re asked to release money from a deceased’s accounts with us, we’ll need the person asking to sign Deceased Estates Claim and Closure Form.

What is it?

We need this in case someone else entitled to the money challenges who we have paid the money to.

How do you get it?

We will provide this to you.

Next step: We will close the accounts and release the funds.

We will close the accounts and release the funds

Closing or transferring money from the accounts

We’ll only accept instructions from someone who has authority to administer the estate before we transfer money or close accounts.

  • If there is a will, that is usually the person or people named as the executor.Depending on the value of assets, you may need probate. Probate confirms a will is valid and the executor can carry out the wishes and instructions set out in the will.
  • If there isn’t a will, then the Administration Act sets out who may be entitled to the estate. Depending on the assets they left, a Court may need to grant letters of administration to appoint an administrator. The administrator will share out the estate in the order set out in the Administration Act.
  • We recommend you speak with a lawyer about whether you will need probate or letters of administration.
Accounts of less than $15,000
Accounts greater than $15,000

If there was lending with us, then we’ll need to sort out what will happen to that lending first, before we’ll release any money we hold. We need to do this, regardless of how much money is held in accounts with us. We can also choose to use the money in their accounts with us to repay or reduce the amounts owing.

We’ll send a letter to the person managing the estate once we’ve released any money or closed the accounts with us.

Commonly asked questions

We understand that you'll have many questions. Here are answers to some.

We're here to help.

Call us

phone

0800 269 296

Mon - Fri 6am - 12 midnight, 7 days a week

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