Probate and wills
After someone dies, you need to sort out any tax or financial issues before the will is executed.
Probate and wills
A will lists who gets property and money when someone dies. You need to be granted probate in court to be the will’s executor. An executor deals with the estate and hands out the property as set out in the will.
What you need to do
There are some things you need to do if you're executing someone's will. You can ask a lawyer for help — the cost will come out of the estate.
You'll need to contact IRD if the deceased:
- had a student loan
- paid or received child support
- had a Kiwisaver account
- ran a business.
You'll also need to:
- file a final tax return for the person who has died — IRD will tell you what information they need
- file an estate return if income is still being received by the dead person's estate.
Benefits and pensions
Contact Work and Income if the person who died was being paid a benefit, NZ Super or a Veteran's Pension.
If you're over 65, freephone: 0800 552 002 (NZ only)
If the person who died was over 65, you can also use Work and Income's online form.
Insurance and money
You'll need to:
- arrange for any life or funeral insurance to be paid out
- check whether the deceased is owed any pay or superannuation from their workplace
- talk to the deceased's bank to freeze their accounts until the will is executed, or transfer any joint accounts to the surviving account holder
- cancel any bills or accounts under the deceased's name.
Cancel official documents
Contact the Department of Internal Affairs to cancel the deceased's passport.
Contact NZTA to cancel the deceased’s driver licence.
If the deceased owned a house that was registered as a joint family home, your lawyer will arrange to transfer the title to the surviving partner.