Notify the bank and post office in the event of death

When a testator dies, you must report the death to all institutions and banks. The post office is also to be informed of the death. We recommend leaving a bank account open for settling the estate.

Notifying the bank of the death

The first step is gaining an overview of the banks where the testator has accounts. You should send the death certificate to these banks in order to notify them of the death of the deceased person. Ask the bank what documents are required for the transfer of securities, accounts, etc. Any existing powers of attorney are to be reviewed and, if necessary, revoked. The heirs have the option to revoke a written power of attorney which extends beyond the death of the testator at any time. You may also have to suspend any direct debits. For the tax return during the year and establishing the latest assets of the deceased person, you can ask for a confirmation of the balance as of the date of death.

A bank account for the community of heirs

After the death of a testator, the heirs must or may decide together about the assets in the estate. If there are several heirs in the community of heirs and they wish to liquidate all the testator’s assets, the following approach can be selected:

  • set a bank account as the account for the community of heirs
  • transfer the balance of all the testator’s accounts to the community account and then balance the other bank accounts
  • transfer the liquidation proceeds of all other assets (e.g. a property) of the testator to the community account
  • then all of the testator’s assets are in the community account, which makes dividing up the inheritance easier
  • when dividing up the inheritance, this bank account can be used to settle the testator’s debts (the testator’s personal debts), the costs incurred as a result of the death (such as costs for the funeral) as well as inheritance costs (such as costs for selling a property of the estate)

Redirecting mail

The deceased person will continue to receive his or her post as usual, as the information about the death may take some time to arrive. It is therefore highly recommended to issue a redirection order at the post office.This ensures that post is forwarded directly to a relative or a testamentary executor. You can quickly and easily issue one at a post office or directly online.

You can find an overview of the institutions that are to be notified of the deceased person’s death under the section Notification obligation. As soon as you have fulfilled your obligation to notify, you can start organising the funeral.

Good to know:

  • Do you want to appoint a testamentary executor in your will to deal with the administrative aspects of your estate?
  • You are an heir: have a look in the deceased person’s will whether they appointed a testamentary executor or expressed other instructions on dividing up the inheritance.
  • Have you as the heir sorted all of the matters above?

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