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.
Once you tell us, we'll stop the accounts to protect them until the estate can be sorted out.
Here's what we do for each account type:
We’ll stop individual accounts of the deceased. We’ll stop all payments going out of the account, but you can still deposit money into the account.
You may need to think about what payments are going out of the account and whether you need to arrange to make those payments. Please make alternative payment arrangements with each organisation directly.
Loan repayments, fees, and interest charges will continue so you may need to think about whether you’ll need to deposit money into the account to cover those payments.
We’ll cancel internet, mobile, and phone banking logins and passwords, and debit cards. We’ll also cancel anyone else’s access to the accounts, including where they were a signatory, power of attorney, or additional cardholder.
Joint bank accounts
If there was a joint account with another person, we’ll usually change the account’s ownership into that other person’s name.
Changing the ownership means that other person can keep any money in the account and can keep using the account.
If there are regular payments coming out of the account, these won't change.
We’ll cancel the deceased’s internet, mobile, and phone banking logins and passwords, and any credit or debit cards.
If the deceased was the sole director of a company or was a sole trader, we will stop, or freeze, the company or business accounts with us.
If you need the business to keep running while you’re sorting things out, you may want to speak urgently to a lawyer or other adviser. It may be possible, for example, to have a new director appointed urgently to keep running a company. You may also need to think about arranging to pay wages or other bills the business has.
If the deceased was one of several directors of a company, we won’t stop the company’s account. But we’ll remove their access to the account and we’ll need the company to update account documents.
If the deceased's business was a partnership, then we may need to stop the partnership’s accounts. This will depend on the individual circumstances. Under New Zealand law, a partnership ends when one of the partners passes away, so we need to stop the partnership’s accounts until the remaining partners can divide the partnership’s assets. Again, you may want to speak urgently to a lawyer or other advisor if the business needs to keep running while you sort out matters.
If we have a mortgage over the deceased's property, talk to us before that property is sold or transferred to someone else. We may have some extra steps you’ll need to complete.
If the deceased owned the property jointly with someone else, then the property can normally be transferred into the sole name of the other person. This is done through a legal process called ‘transmission’. A lawyer can help with this. You’ll need to get our consent before the property is transmitted, because we will need to discuss what is happening with any loans the mortgage is security for.
Also, talk to us if the property needs to be transferred to:
an executor or administrator while the estate is being sorted out, or
a beneficiary of the estate.
If the term deposit was held jointly with another person, then we’ll transfer the term deposit into the name of that other person (see joint accounts above).
If the deceased held the term deposit alone, you can ask us to release the money before the term deposit’s maturity date. We’ll only do this once we’ve received all necessary documents. We’ll pay interest up to the date the term deposit was closed, and waive any early break penalties.
If the deceased was a trustee of a trust, the other trustees can continue to use the trust’s accounts, but please talk to us so we can update our records.
If the deceased was the only trustee or the trust must have a certain number of trustees, then we may stop the accounts until a replacement trustee is appointed. We recommend you speak with a lawyer if a replacement trustee is needed.
KiwiSaver and other investments
If the deceased had a KiwiSaver account or other investment products with ANZ New Zealand Investments Limited, we’ll send you a claim form for the executor to complete. Once we’ve received all necessary documents, we’ll send the claim form to our investments team to process.
If the deceased had Cigna or ANZ Life Insurance, we’ll advise them of the death and they will send out their requirement letter. Cigna or ANZ Insurance may need extra information to help process the claim — if so, they will be in touch directly. If a claim is accepted, they will need the policy owner to sign a discharge form before the insurance proceeds can be paid out.
Lending - including home loans, personal loans, overdrafts, or credit cards
All lending with us will need to be paid back from the estate, or assets, before any property or money is distributed to beneficiaries.
We’ll stop any credit cards, and access to the credit limit of any overdraft or flexible home loan.
To avoid the loan, overdraft, or card going into default, loan repayments, fees, and interest charges will continue from the account used to pay the loan.
Talk to us if you’d like to make payments to the loan, overdraft, or card until you’ve had a chance to sort out what will happen with that lending. We also recommend you talk to a lawyer about what to do and whether any repayments you make can be later paid back from the estate, or assets.
If we have a mortgage over a property, we may need to sell that property to recover money we’re owed under any loans.
We also have the right to use any deposits or investments that the deceased had with us towards amounts they owe us, including lending.
If the deceased had joint loans with someone, we may be able to transfer that lending into the other person’s name. But that other person will need to meet our lending and security criteria. For example, we’ll need to be satisfied the other person can afford to repay the lending alone.
If the deceased was an additional credit cardholder, we’ll cancel the card. The main cardholder can continue to use the card account. If your family member was the main cardholder, then we’ll stop both cards. Please talk to us if you need to order a new card.
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.
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.
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 less than $15,000
If the accounts had a total of less than $15,000 with us when they died, then we will usually be able to pay out the money we hold without needing to see a copy of probate or letters of administration.
If we’re asked to, then we’ll pay the money in the account to someone entitled to the estate, as set out in the Administration Act. We’ll need a copy of the death certificate and will, if they have one.
We will ask the person to whom we’re releasing the money to sign a Deceased Estates request form. We do this to make sure we’re paying to someone entitled to receive the money.
Accounts greater than $15,000
If the accounts had a total of over $15,000 with us when they died then we need the executor or administrator or their lawyer, to contact us and tell us what to do with that money. We’ll need a copy of the death certificate, and a copy of probate or letters of administration.
If there was lending with us
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.