There are so many difficult aspects to deal with and decisions to make following the loss of family or a friend. We can help make things a little easier, by assisting you with organising financial matters and making those first steps.
You'll need to register the death at any local registry office (within 5 days in England and Wales and 8 days in Scotland). For Government advice on how to register a death and to locate your nearest registry office go to www.gov.uk/register-a-death. Once you've registered the death you will be given a death certificate. It's probably worth asking for a few copies as this could help you deal with some of the more practical matters quicker.
It's important to say goodbye and a Funeral Director should be able to guide you through all of your options for arranging a funeral. Citizens Advice recommends finding a Funeral Director through a professional association, such as the National Association of Funeral Directors.
You'll need to find out whether or not there is a will. If you do not know, the deceased's solicitor and bank are good places to start and there's more advice here: www.gov.uk/find-persons-will.
At this time, the most important thing to be aware of with a mortgage account is that the mortgage payments must still be made, even when a borrower has passed away.
If you think you may have difficulty making the mortgage payments, you can call our Mortgage Admin Team on 0345 300 0522. They'll put you through to a colleague who will be able to help you work out a payment plan. They'll also be able to provide specific advice relating to the type of products held.
Once you have registered the death, you will need to provide us with an original or certified copy of the death certificate. Post this to our Bereavement Team (address details are listed above).
This depends on whether the mortgage is joint or solely held.
Please see the information for each of these options below:
If a will has been made: We'll need to see the original Grant of Probate (after the death has been registered) so that we can note the Executor(s) names on our records.
If there's no will: We'll need to see the original Grant of Letters of Administration.
The account will then need to be repaid, either from:
We'll then write to the Personal Representative(s) of the deceased at the borrower's property address to inform them of the process. Please note we'll only be able to send information about the mortgage to the Personal Representative(s) once they have provided evidence that they are authorised to deal with the administration of the estate. In some cases and with our consent, the property and the responsibility for the mortgage may be transferred to another person.
If there's a joint mortgage, we'll need to see the original or certified copy Death Certificate. The deceased borrower's name will then be removed from the mortgage. This means that the other owner is then solely responsible for repaying the mortgage.
How property ownership is dealt with depends on whether the property was held as joint tenants or as tenants in common.
The deceased's interest in the property will automatically transfer to the other owner(s).
Tenants in Common:
When borrowers hold a property as 'Tenants in Common' (where each borrower has a specific share in the property) the deceased's share will not pass automatically to the other borrower. Once the death has been registered, you'll need a solicitor to help deal with the deceased borrower's share of the estate.
For definitions, please refer to our Bereavement Glossary of Terms.
The Mortgage Admin Team is your first point of contact and they are able to assist you with any questions you have. For some queries relating to mortgage payments they may put you in touch with a specialist in those areas, however they will still be your dedicated support.
As soon as you contact us we will get the process started however the exact timescales will vary depending on the circumstances. We will keep you updated on the process.
It's really important that you contact us and send the Death Certificate straight away so we can update our records and get the process started.
Someone can call on your behalf to obtain general advice on the next steps. We can however only give account specific information to the Personal Representative/Executor.
If a Power of Attorney/Court of Protection Order has been registered on an account this is no longer valid on the death of the account holder. This means that the person who held the authority isn't able to operate or access the deceased's account(s) anymore.
Citizens Advice Bureau
Find your local office in The Phone Book, or visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk
Cruse Bereavement Care
Call 0844 477 9400, or visit www.cruse.org.uk
General Register Office for England & Wales
Certificate Services Section General Register Office PO Box 2, Southport PR8 2JD. Call 0300 123 1837, or visit www.gro.gov.uk
General Register Office for Scotland
Ladywell House, Ladywell Road, Edinburgh EH12 7TF. Call 0131 334 0380, or visit nrscotland.gov.uk/
Government Advice on Bereavement
Government Advice on Finding a Will
HM Revenue & Customs
Look in The Phone Book for your local 'Tax Office', or www.hmrc.gov.uk
National Association of Funeral Directors
Call 0121 711 1343, or visit nafd.org.uk
Probate and Inheritance Tax helpline
Call 0300 123 1072, or visit www.justice.gov.uk/courts/probate
Royal Mail Re-Direction
The Bereavement Register
Call 0207 089 6403, or visit www.thebereavementregister.org.uk