Getting in touch when someone has died

What you need to do:

If you haven’t got a death certificate or other proof of death

So we can freeze any accounts, please complete our online notification form. Alternatively, you can call on us 0800 056 0073 (or +44(0)131 278 3705 if you’re abroad) or visit us in branch if you’d prefer to talk to someone. Lines are open 8am-8pm every day. 

Online notification form

Once you’ve received the death certificate or other proof of death, simply follow the steps below.

If you have got a death certificate or other proof of death

You can use our online Bereavement Registration form. We'll need to see proof of death and proof of your identity. You can upload a scan or photograph of this. The documents we accept are listed below. The Bereavement Registration form should be completed by an Executor, Personal Representative or Solicitor acting on behalf of the deceased customer’s accounts.
 

Bereavement Registration form


Alternatively please call 0800 056 0073 (or +44(0)131 278 3705 if you’re abroad), and we can talk you through exactly what happens next, and provide you with any other help and support you might need. 

You can also use this number to book an appointment in branch if you’d like to do things face-to-face. Lines are open 8am-8pm every day. 

Only ring this number if you’re one of the following:

  • Next of kin to the deceased
  • An executor of the will 
  • A personal representative (if there’s no will). 

Closing other accounts

To keep things simple for you, we’ll deal with these brands across our group at the same time: 

  • Bank of Scotland
  • Lloyds Bank
  • Halifax
  • MBNA

Once we’ve received a death certificate, we’ll also notify these brands for you: 

  • Scottish Widows
  • Clerical Medical
  • Birmingham Midshires

Depending on the balance on the accounts, a grant of probate/confirmation might be needed. If this is the case, we’ll let you know.

You can also use the free Death Notification Service to let other organisations know the account holder has passed away.  

The government’s Tell Us Once service will contact relevant government services, including HMRC, for you. 
 

On occasion, we may ask you to provide further information to help move things along. If prompted please complete our Bereavement Form (PDF 56 KB).

Additional help and support

For more in-depth information about our bereavement service and what happens once you’ve told us someone has died, please read our downloadable guide. 

If you have any more questions and want to speak to us, please call 0800 056 0073 (or +44(0)131 278 3705 if you’re abroad). Lines are open 8am-8pm, every day. 

Downloadable guide (PDF, 1 MB)

Probate and administering an estate

If you need support and guidance with any aspect of administering an estate such as applying for a Grant of Probate then please call our Estate Administration Service on 0800 056 0171. Lines are open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

    • UK, EU, or EEA driving licence
    • Current Passport
    • EU/EEA identity card
    • Northern Ireland Electoral Identity Card  
    • Disabled driver pass 

    You can also use any of these, as long as they’re dated within the last 3 months 

    • HMRC assessment or statement
    • HMRC construction industry registration card or certificate (CIS4, CIS5, or CIS6) 
    • Council Tax, bank statement or utility bill
    • Council rent card or tenancy agreement 
    • Mortgage statement
    • Letter from a solicitor
    • UK or foreign death certificate 
    • Interim UK death certificate or coroners’ certificate 
    • Abbreviated extract of death 
    • Grant of representation
    • Certificate/Grant of confirmation 
    • Grant of probate (England, Wales, and Northern Ireland)
    • Letters of administration (England, Wales, and Northern Ireland)

      
    If you’re not a Bank of Scotland customer, you’ll need to provide 2 forms of identification.

     

  • How do I get a death certificate?

    When someone dies, you’ll get a medical certificate which records the cause of death. If you take this to a registrar of births, deaths, and marriages, they'll give you a death certificate. You need this to prove someone has actually died. Ask for a few copies as you might have to show it a few times.

    The cause of death isn't always known, and the coroner will give you an interim certificate. You can use this instead of a death certificate.  

    How do I pay for the funeral and other urgent expenses?

    If there are funds in the deceased’s current or savings accounts, it can be used for:

    • Funeral costs
    • Inheritance tax
    • Probate or confirmation fees

    Can I take money of a joint account?

    If you’re the surviving account holder, you can keep using the account as normal. We’ll always notify you if anything changes with the account. 

    What will happen to standing orders and Direct Debits?

    If the account is only in the deceased’s name, we’ll stop all payments and send you a full list of what’s been cancelled. You can contact the companies concerned if you need to set any payments up again. 

    If the account is in joint names, we’ll keep all regular payments as they are. You’ll need to contact us if you want to stop any. 

    What will happen with mortgage accounts?

    If a mortgage is in joint names, we'll usually transfer it to the other person named on the account. We might also need to transfer the payments too, if they were made from the deceased's account.

    If the mortgage was just in the deceased’s name, we won't take any payments for the first 3 months after you've reported the death. However, interest will continue to be added to the mortgage, so you might want to arrange payments to prevent arrears on the account.

    If you want to keep the property, we can arrange an appointment with a mortgage adviser to talk through your options.

    What will happen with loan accounts?

    If the loan was just in the deceased’s name and they have money in their other accounts, we’ll discuss your options when you get in touch. 

    If the loan was in joint names, the other person named on the loan needs to keep making the monthly repayments. If the loan is covered by insurance, we’ll let you know how to make a claim.

    What will happen with credit cards?

    Any additional cardholders named on accounts won’t be able to use their cards anymore. 

    If the deceased person owed money on any credit cards, there are several options. Usually, we’ll use any other current or savings account balances they have with us to pay them off. If their cards are covered by repayment insurance, we’ll tell you how to make a claim. If neither of these apply, we’ll get in touch to discuss things further. 

    What is confirmation?

    This is the process used to get the court's permission to deal with a deceased person's estate.

    If you're named in someone's will as the executor, you might need to apply for a grant of representation. If there’s no will, a letter of administration might be needed. 

    You can also apply for confirmation at the Sheriff Court. They'll send this to you after:

    • They check the will is valid
    • They receive completed application forms
    • All taxes are paid

    If you need help applying for confirmation, we can do this for you.

    Outside of Scotland, this process known as  grant of probate and is usually handled by the Probate Registry. 

  • Assets

    Anything belonging to the deceased with a financial value, like money, investments, property, or personal possessions. 

    Beneficiary

    Anybody that’s been left something in a will or trust.

    Estate

    The assets left in the deceased person’s will.

    Executor

    The person named in a will to carry out the wishes of the person who’s died.

    Grant of representation

    A legal document that confirms who’s allowed to deal with an estate.

    Intestate

    The term used when the person has died without a will being made.

    Letters of administration

    This lets a named person deal with the deceased's estate if there isn't an executor.

    Liabilities

    This is any debt the deceased has, or any costs an executor has to pay while handling the estate.

    Personal representatives

    As a group, executors and administrators are called personal representatives.

    Trust

    This is when money or property is held for someone else until they reach a certain age. For example, children who are under 18. 

    Will

    A legal document that says who benefits, and in what way, from the estate.

  • Citizens Advice Bureau

    Visit: adviceguide.org.uk

    Cruse Bereavement Care

    Call: 0808 808 1677 

    Visit: cruse.org.uk

    Probate Scotland

    Call: 0131 334 0380

    Visit: mygov.scot/confirmation/

    Probate England and Wales

    Call: 0845 302 0900

    Visit: gov.uk/wills-probate-inheritance

    The Bereavement Register

    Call: 0207 089 6403

    Visit: thebereavementregister.co.uk/

    Grief Encounter

    Visit: griefencounter.org.uk

    Help with what to do after someone dies 

    Visit: gov.uk/after-a-death

    Information on reporting a death, wills, probate, or inheritance tax 

    Visit: gov.uk/browse/births-deaths-marriages/death

Important information

Calls may be monitored or recorded in case we need to check we have carried out your instructions correctly and to help improve our quality of service.