VIC Joint House and Bank Account with Sole Beneficiary - Executor Duties?

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7 November 2014
My dad died recently with a will naming my mother sole beneficiary. However the bank accounts and house are in both names and there is no other property or assets in his name. We seem to get varying information about what if any anything needs to be done by the executor of the will. Notification to Centrelink, Births deaths and Marriages is organised. I believe we need to do a death notice to the Land & property Information service is required? Does anything else need to happen- a bit desparate to get sound information and mum and dad are pensioners so trying to minimise any extra costs or time frames issues. She will need to sell the house as she can not live independently. Can anyone assist with information It would be gratefully received

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria
Hi Brandyalexander,

1. If the bank account and house are held in the joint names of your father and mother, do they hold them in joint tenancy or tenants in common? If it is the former, the right of survivorship vests all interests previously held by your father in relation to the joint tenancy to your mother (the surviving joint tenant) immediately upon his death. This means, no further action is needed to transfer the interest. It automatically transfers. It would be best to notify the Land department and the bank of your father's death in any case.

2. If your father has a will, who is the named executor? The executor will generally need to obtain a grant of probate (court document that declares the will final and valid) before they deal with the property to protect them of liability. Such grant may also be required by the land department and bank if your father and mother held such properties as tenants in common and not joint tenants.

3. If you know the rough value of your father's estate, you should give the Supreme Court (Probate Office) a call and enquire whether there is some sort of exemption from grant or a grant for small estates or summary administration that the executor can apply to in order to fast track the proceed and make the process less costly.