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Deceased Parent Checklist – When a Loved One Dies

When we lose a parent, it can be a challenging time filled with grief and raw emotions. Unfortunately, there are numerous tasks and legalities that need your attention during this trying period. We hope this checklist will provide some guidance, as well as make it easier to manage your deceased parent’s affairs.

Inform Family and Friends

The first step is letting family and friends know of your loss, so create a notification plan to ensure everyone who needs to know is informed. This task can be emotionally taxing, so lean on your family for support, and delegate this task where possible.

Find a Friendly Funeral Provider

You need a friendly, professional funeral provider who can provide a compassionate service that respects the wishes of your loved one. Seek referrals from friends or check online reviews to find a trusted provider in your area.

Obtain the Death Certificate

A death certificate is a crucial legal document that’s required to settle your deceased parent’s estate. You can apply for a death certificate through the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in your state or territory. However, your funeral provider can also apply for this certificate on your behalf.

Arrange Access to Their Will

Your loved one’s Will outlines their wishes for the distribution of their assets. To access this, you may need to apply for a grant of probate in the Supreme Court of your state or territory. Legal advice might be necessary during this process.

Organise Their Estate

Managing a deceased estate can be overwhelming. Whether you’re distributing, selling or donating items, consider a company specialising in deceased estate house clearances. These professionals can remove and dispose of items respectfully and efficiently, relieving you of this burdensome task.

Close Bank Accounts

Reach out to your deceased parent’s bank to close their accounts. They will ask for proof of death, and if you’re the executor of the will, they may require a copy of this document as well.

Cancel Credit Cards

Similarly, credit card accounts need to be closed to prevent any unauthorised use. Contact each card issuer directly to initiate this process.

Notify Any Lenders

If your parent had any outstanding loans or mortgages, inform the lenders of their passing. This can help prevent any unnecessary charges or fees.

Stop Automatic Payments

Review bank statements for any recurring automatic payments and cancel any subscriptions, utilities, or services that are no longer needed.

Collect Life Insurance Policies

If your deceased parent had a life insurance policy, contact the insurer to claim the benefits. You will likely need to provide a copy of the death certificate and complete some additional paperwork.

Finalise Their Tax Affairs

If you’re the executor, you’re responsible for lodging a final tax return on behalf of the deceased. This may require seeking assistance from a tax professional. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) also provides guidance on managing the tax affairs of someone who has passed away.

While this checklist isn’t exhaustive, it covers some of the essential tasks you need to handle when a parent or loved one dies in Australia. Remember to reach out for support during this tough time. There are various bereavement services available to help you navigate through your grief and support you as you manage these responsibilities.

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