Navigation & Progress of 34 Steps
28%

Step 11 - Prepare the Relevant Documents & Certified Copies

Last updated: June 2019

Why is this important?

This step explains everything you need to know about preparing the key documents and certified copies in anticipation of notifying government departments, companies and organisations of the death and initiating their estate administration process.

 

simplyEstate is here to help with the process. Contact us via email or book a first free phone appointment.

Approximate Effort & Cost

Reading: 10 mins
Preparing: 30 mins
Completing: 1-2 hrs
Total: 1:40-2:40 hrs
Cost: $0

Effort and cost are general estimates only and are based on the assumption that you complete this step without specialist help.

Instructions

To find out how this Process Guide works, access the instructions here.

Glossary

To find out what the capitalised words mean, access the glossary here.

11.1 Overview

As you start preparing to deal with Government Departments, Companies and Organisations about the deceased estate, you will need to provide specific documents about the deceased person and proof of your identity depending on their processes to:

  • inform of the death;
  • close accounts;
  • obtain refunds for pre-paid amounts;
  • claim insurance benefits;
  • claim a superannuation benefit;
  • request bank statements and freeze accounts; and
  • other depending on your situation.

Contents

11.2 Certify Documents
11.3 Certify Copies of the Death Certificate
11.4 Certify Copies of the Will (Where Applicable)
11.5 Certify Copies of the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration
11.6 Certify Copies of Supporting Documents
11.7 Certify Copies of Proof of Identity Documents
11.8 Actions and Decisions to Complete Step

 

Use the simplyEstate Document Checklist you filled in and check which ones will likely need to be provided as a certified copy.

11.2 Certify Documents

When dealing with official documents and identification, you will need often need to provide certified copies or the present the originals. Note that many Organisations will not return documents submitted for processing, hence it is always best to provide a certified copy if originals are not requested.
To be safe it is always good to check with the requesting party, if an original is required and how it will be returned to you.

 

In Australia, the following people are authorised to certify documents:

  • Health Professions: Chiropractor, Dentist, Medical practitioner, Nurse, Optometrist, Pharmacist, Physiotherapist;
  • Legal Professions: Legal practitioner, Patent attorney, Trademarks attorney;
  • Court Positions: Bailiff, Justice of the Peace, Judge, Magistrate, Registrar, or Deputy Registrar, Clerk, Master of a court, CEO of a Commonwealth court;
  • Government representatives (elected): Federal, State or Territory or Local;
  • Public Servants: Federal, State or Territory or Local – employed for five years or more;
  • Member of: Chartered Secretaries Australia, Engineers Australia, Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy;
  • Bank officer, building society officer, credit union officer, finance company officer – employed for five years or more, Veterinary surgeon, Accountant (member of ICA, ASA, IPA or CPA, ATMA, NTAA); and
  • Minister of religion, Marriage celebrant, Notary public, Police Officer, Sheriff or Sheriff’s Officer, Teacher (full-time) at a school or tertiary education institution.

Outside Australia, the following people are authorised to certify documents:

  • Justice of the Peace;
  • Notary public;
  • Australian Consular Officer or Australian Diplomatic Officer (within the meaning of the CONSULAR FEES ACT 1955); and
  • Employee of the Commonwealth or the Australian Trade Commission who works outside Australia.

11.3 Certify Copies of the Death Certificate

If you have completed Step 8 – Apply for the Death Certificate you should by now have received the original Death Certificate. We recommend certifying around 20 copies as this represents the key document and will be requested by many government departments, companies and organisations to prove the person has passed away.

 

Note: Make sure to keep the original so further certified copies may be made as needed.

simplyEstate is here to help.

Contact us via email or book your first free phone appointment.

11.4 Certify Copies of the Will (where applicable)

In most cases a copy of the Will be enough to provide evidence that you are the named Executor. Where a Will is available, you should make around 20 certified copies to be prepared. Make sure to keep the original so further certified copies may be made as needed.


Where no Will is in place, the Administrator will need to make copies of the Letters of Administration. See Step 11.5 below for further information.

11.5 Certify Copies of the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration

A Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration will be needed when dealing with large financial transfers later in the administration process. Step 27 – Apply for Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration explains this in more detail.

11.6 Certify Copies of Supporting Documents

As you initiate contact with government departments, companies and organisations using the simplyEstate Notification Tool you will be informed in response by each organisation about which supporting documents they will need to initiate and complete their process.

11.7 Certify Copies of Proof of Identity Documents

In many cases you as the Executor or Administrator will need to provide one, two or three forms of identification. This is to give the party you are dealing with confidence that you are the person you are claiming to be. For financial matters such as paying out bank account funds you will likely need a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, which is explained in more detail in Step 27 – Apply for Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.

11.8 Actions and Decisions to Complete Step

If you would like a little help from us at simplyEstate with this Step, you can email us or book your free first phone appointment. If you would like specialist help, get in touch with one of our Specialist Partners listed in the yellow section to the right or below and see how they can help.

 

If you have decided to tackle this Step yourself after reading and understanding this Step, you may want to:

  1. Prepare all the key documents and certify copies that you will likely use during the administration process; and
  2. Retain the original documents in a safe place in case you need to provide the originals or need to make further certified copies during the estate administration process.

Once you have completed all the necessary actions and decisions, you can move on to the next Step by clicking below or save progress at the top.

Do you need specialist help?

simplyEstate has partnered with select Specialists across Australia to assist you.

 

You can click on your State/Territory to find a suitable Specialist and get in touch to discuss how they can help you.

Estate Lawyers

 

simplyEstate Specialist Partner Listings coming soon in 2019.

 

simplyEstate Specialist Partner Listings coming soon in 2019.

 

simplyEstate Specialist Partner Listings coming soon in 2019.

 

simplyEstate Specialist Partner Listings coming soon in 2019.

Get in Touch

  the simplyEstate logo contains the name with three overlapping circles in red, blue and yellow colours to symbolise an integrated process and progress  

If you would like to speak to us about this Step, discuss how to engage a Specialist Partner or need support, book a Phone Appointment now.

simplyEstate is here to help.

 

Help us improve this step

If you have worked through this step and found something that could be added, is not quite right or you think may no longer apply, please let us now.

We will not share your details. By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website as outlined in the Privacy Policy, which is available here.

What other users say

“This is a very useful guide! As the Executor of a family friends estate, this was my go-to place for information and the services provided by the recommended tax accountant and removalists was great.”

Andrew Zhao
Melbourne
“It is a lot of materials at first but I quickly understood why. estate administration can be tricky but thanks to simplyestate, we were able to deal with my brother’s affairs in a a few months. Thank you for your help…”

Maria Stamoulis
Sydney
“simplyEstate has helped me and my family during a very difficult time after the loss of my mother. We were lost initially and don’t know how we could’ve managed without this excellent resource, thank you very much!”

Jane Winters
Perth

Save Your Progress

bar with red blue and yellow sections

Thank you for using our Process Guide
Enter your email address below and we will send you this link. That way you can easily find your way back and continue where you left off.

We may send you some useful information and a reminder, for your convenience. You can unsubscribe any time.

We will not share your details. By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website as outlined in the Privacy Policy, which is available here.