What to do when someone dies (Part III)
Welcome to the final part of; What to do if someone dies (Part III)
Check the links below for:
- Legal Matters and Who to Notify
Legal Matters: there may already be a legal firm who is a point of contact if a legal will exists, alternatively a new representative may need to be appointed in order to prepare probate and matters of the estate. Be aware that it is not compulsory to carry on probate or estate matters with the same firm who holds the will of the deceased, you can choose a new representative if so desired.
When looking for legal help, total costs are hard to quote because much of the costs involved are based on communication turn around and the number of interactions required between the legal firms and external parties involved, also the number of executors and how many emails or meetings are involved also affects overall fees as the number of outbound communication and additional documents required increases.
Overall that being said to get a basic idea of costs, legal firms will often give a guide to their fees for probate as well as a cost per hour as a guide which can be used for comparison.
Who to notify: The Department of Human Services has a handy checklist of some of the more common organisations you’ll need to notify.
Minimum it is best to have a copy or original of the Death Certificate from the office of Births deaths and marriages as well as a letter from a lawyer to confirm that you are an executor and authorised to act on the departed’s behalf.
If there was a business: If a business is owned by the departed, then it is possible that it may be taken on by another family member if there are tangible/intangible assets of value or alternatively the business and goodwill may be sold if there is a market for such goods and services offered. Lawyers and Accountants will be required to establish the value of the business and assist with the legal transition of the business entity. Alternatively, if the business is not transferrable or is not offered for sale then the business will need to be closed and all relevant business taxes and personal taxes will again need to filed using the help of an accountant and legal representative.
Death Taxes: On a final note it is worthwhile observing the following taxes that will likely need to be lodged in Australia for a Deceased and/or Deceased Estate (First 2 points are relevant if the departed is the owner of a business)
- Update Business Activity Statements (BAS Statements)
- Lodge Final Business Income Tax Return
- Lodge Final Personal Income Tax Return
- Lodge Tax Return for (Deceased Estate’s) Estate*
*requires separate Tax File Number (TFN) and needs additional legal documents
Try this link if you are looking for more information about more lodging individual tax returns for your departed.
- Seeking government Assistance
You may be eligible for government assistance depending on your relationship with the deceased; the Department of Human Services has a detailed list.
- Removing names from Mailing lists
Following the funeral, you can reduce unsolicited mail from being sent to the departed’s address by registering with the Association for Data-driven Marketing and Advertising by simply registering using this link do-not-mail
- Social Media Accounts
Social media networks usually have procedures in place to deal with the accounts of deceased members.
In some cases, accounts can be closed however in other cases accounts will be deactivated or Memorialised so that they attract no further activity from other friends or network members.
As these procedures can differ between networks the best thing to do is to search the ‘help’ section of the network in question if you wish to close an account.
- Coping with Grief
During such an emotional and busy time, it’s easy to lose yourself or put yourself last during the business of organising a loved one’s funeral.
Sometime its only once the chaos is over that as the organiser of the funeral you have time to assess your own mental and physical wellbeing.
If you are struggling, a good place to seek help is via your GP, who can refer you to a counsellor or psychologist if needed.
Some of the departments and organisations you can contact for help include:
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Key Source: humanservices.gov.au