Baby boomers face two major challenges
BABY boomers face two major challenges - caring for their parents as they become unable to care for themselves, and dealing with the estate when the parents die.
Unfortunately, the process is not made easier by the increasing number of bureaucratic processes that hinder your progress at every turn.
The experience of a reader is typical.
Their mother lived in Canberra and had always banked with the local Commonwealth Bank. Eventually she was admitted to an aged care facility. Her daughter, who lived in Brisbane, was granted guardianship, and for convenience opened an account in her mother's name with the Commonwealth Bank at a suburban branch in Queensland.
When the mother died the family, acting as Executors, obtained probate in the ACT, and then applied to the bank for release of the funds.
They were shocked when the Commonwealth Bank advised that they would not release the funds in Queensland because they were a 'foreign asset'. They were told to apply for a Reseal of Probate from the Queensland Supreme Court. This meant the family had to obtain a certified copy of the ACT Grant of Probate and lodge it in Queensland together with a fee of $570.
It's hard to imagine a more simple case - no siblings, no property, and two bank accounts in separate branches of the same bank.
After obtaining the appropriate authority, I rang the head office of the bank to find out if this really was bank policy, or whether the branch had simply got it wrong.
The official response was "The Commonwealth Bank has a policy of requiring a reseal of probate where estate assets are situated in a State other than that in which probate has been granted. The Bank considers this necessary as it is not indemnified in respect of the assets unless the probate is resealed in the same State in which the asset is held. An Executor or Solicitor can request to have the reseal waived, which the Bank assesses on a case-by-case basis".
Unfortunately, as the executor did not know this, they did not make an official request for the re-seal to be waived.
Noel Whittaker is the author of Making Money Made Simple and numerous other books on personal finance. His advice is general in nature and readers should seek their own professional advice before making any financial decisions. Email: email@example.com.