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When a loved one passes away, the last thing most families want to deal with is the finances and estate. This is a difficult time that can be very emotionally taxing. The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has taken steps to relieve some of the burden by making it easier to take care of any loose ends that were left behind.

New Telephone Notification Option

The ATO has introduced a new telephone option that allows family members to provide an unofficial notice of death. This step will halt all mail that would otherwise have been sent to the deceased person.

Family members should note that this is just a first step. You will still have to provide an official notification either by mail, in person, or online. You will be required to complete a Notification of a Deceased Person form, also known as a NAT 74279.

What Do I Do When a Loved One Dies?

After the initial grieving period has ended and all funeral arrangements have been completed, the next phase will begin. This is when you must handle the deceased person’s financial matters, which include taxes and their Superannuation Fund. This is typically done by the person who is named executor of the estate. It may also be done by a legal representative or administrator acting on the deceased’s behalf. What do you do if you are tasked with handling your loved one’s affairs?

  • Obtain Probate

You must obtain probate, which is a document that is issued by the court that confirms that the individual is deceased. This also verifies that they cannot hold shares, property, bank accounts, or similar accounts. It proves that the executor is entitled to handle such affairs.

  • Final Tax Return

You will need to complete the final tax return for the deceased. This is often referred to by the ATO as the “date of death” tax return. A paper return used to be required, but that rule has been removed. All other tax rules still apply. This will be the very last document that will require your loved one’s tax file number (TFN). Once this has been submitted, their TFN will never be used again.

Deceased Estate Taxes & Other Financial Matters

Most people prefer to complete the necessary deceased estate tasks quickly so that they can move on and return to normal life as they heal from the loss. An accountant can help you get through the process by providing answers, services, and advice, so you don’t miss a step. Make the process as easy as possible by contacting BIS Cosgrove today. Brian and the team are available to provide assistance with deceased estates and other financial needs.