When you are dealing with a deceased estate it is your responsibility to pay the bills and settle any debts before handing out payments to beneficiaries. Utility bills and insurance payments do not automatically stop when someone dies - and it could be your responsibility to notify providers, depending on your relationship with the deceased. If you have been nominated as the executor of someone’s Will or appointed as the administrator by the Supreme Court this is part of your duty to the deceased.
If you did not reside at the same address as the deceased you will need to organise with Australia Post for their mail to get sent to your residential address. This will allow you to pay any outstanding bills, shut down utilities and start the long-process of administering the deceased estate. However, if the deceased was your spouse, child or parent and you live at the same residential address this is an unnecessary step since you already have access to their post.
Redirecting someone’s mail after they die must be done in person at an Australia Post office. In order to lodge the application you must fill out the completed mail redirection form (this can also be picked up at the post office itself), proof of identity and a copy of the grant or probate or letter of administration to prove you are the person responsible for administering the deceased estate.
Australia Post offers a free mail redirection service for 12 months for someone dealing with a deceased estate. To access the service you must be the executor of the Will, the Administrator of the Estate or a family member, if the person died without a Will (dying intestate). If you want the service to continue after this 12 month period you will have to start paying monthly fees. This costs $33/a month or $19.80 for a concession card holder.
Yes. If you have been appointed as someone’s financial Power of Attorney it is within your right to organise a mail redirection service for them. This is because you are acting on their behalf, and you are responsible for their financial and business affairs. A Power of Attorney is also able to open someone else’s mail, pay their bills and open up and close bank accounts under the individual’s name. You will need to show your Power of Attorney document and proof of identity to be able to authorise a mail redirection service. To find out more about the duties and responsibilities of a financial Power of Attorney you can read our blog post on the subject.