Losing a loved one

Get in touch

When you're ready, call our Specialist Bereavement Team on 0800 056 0073. We'll help you figure out what to do with their accounts, any regular payments and funeral expenses.

What to expect

We’ll ask you for details about the person that’s died and your relationship to them. If you haven’t found a will, don’t worry, we can still help. If you have any questions, you may want to make a list and we'll do our best to answer them all.

We’ll also need to speak to the executor or next of kin. If that’s you, then you’ll need:

  • The death certificate 
  • Proof of your identity 
  • Passbooks, cards and cheque books to help us find and protect the accounts

You can use your passport or photo driving licence as proof of identification. If you don’t have one of these, when you call us, we’ll let you know the other types of ID we accept.

Call us

Sometimes, it’s easier to talk on the phone. We can usually handle the entire process on the call and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know.

Call us on 0800 056 00730800 056 0073
Lines are open 8am - 8pm, seven days a week.

+44 (0)131 278 3705+44 (0)131 278 3705 If you are calling from outside the UK

Visit us

You can arrange to meet with one of our Bereavement Specialists in branch.

Call us on 0800 056 00730800 056 0073 to book an appointment.

Find your local branch0800 056 0073

Estate Administration Service

For help with probate or Estate Administration, please call us on 0800 056 01710800 056 0171.

If Bank of Scotland is named as an Executor in the will, just call us and we’ll tell you the next steps.

What happens next?

During our conversation, we’ll take the time to support you, talk you through each stage and make sure we understand exactly what you need. Then, we’ll go ahead and make any relevant changes. We can do things like close any of their accounts or put joint accounts in the surviving person’s name.

Then we’ll tell these brands in Lloyds Banking Group so you don’t have to:

  • Bank of Scotland
  • Halifax
  • Lloyds Bank
  • MBNA 
  • Scottish Widows
  • Clerical Medical
  • Birmingham Midshires

You’ll still need to tell any other banks. You can do this with the free Death Notification ServiceDeath Notification Service.

As we handle your case, if we need any more information, we'll let you know.

  • 1. Who should contact the bank after someone dies?

    We need to speak to one of these people:

    • The executor named in the will
    • Next of kin
    • Representative (if there’s no will)

    When you call us, we’ll ask for your ID – we do this to make sure you’re the right person to handle this process.

    2. Do I need to go into a branch?

    No you don’t. For most people, we can handle the entire process on the phone and you can send us any documents after we speak. Plus, if you have an account with us, we can use your telephone banking details to identify you.

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

    If the deceased has money in their account, it can be used for:

    • Inheritance tax
    • The funeral
    • Probate fees
    • Confirmation fees

    4. Can I take money out of a joint account?

    As the surviving account holder, you can keep using your joint account. If this changes, we'll let you know.

    5. What happens to standing orders and direct debits?

    This depends on if it’s a joint account or if the account was only in their name. For joint accounts, your regular payments will stay in place. If you want to cancel a Direct Debit, please let us know.

    If the account was only in their name, we'll stop all regular payments. Then we'll give you a list of these payments, so you can contact the right companies to either cancel or keep making them.

    6. What happens to the mortgage?

    How we handle mortgages depends on if it's in joint names or just their name:

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

    Sole name
    If the mortgage was just in their name, we won't take any payments for the first 3 months after you've reported the death. However, interest will still continue to be added to the mortgage, so you may want to arrange payments to prevent arrears.

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

    7. What happens to an outstanding personal loan?

    If the loan was just in the name of the person who died and they had money in other accounts, we’ll talk to you about your options. If the loan was in joint names, the other person named in the loan needs to keep making the monthly payments. If the loan is covered by insurance, we’ll tell you how to make a claim.

    8. What happens to credit cards?

    Additional cardholders won’t be able to use their card anymore. If the person who died had money to pay off on their credit card, we'll contact you and let you know your options. Usually, we use the banking or saving balances they have with us to pay this off. If their card is covered by credit card repayment insurance, we’ll tell you how to make a claim and what to do with the cards. When the balance is paid, we close the account.

    9. What is probate?

    If you're named in someone's will as the executor, you may need to apply for a grant of representation. If there's a will, this is called a grant of probate; if there isn't, it's called letters of administration. It gives you the legal right to deal with their estate and do the things they've asked for in their will. You can apply for a grant of probate from the Probate Registry. They'll send this to you after:

    • They check the will is valid
    • You've sent the right application forms
    • All taxes are paid

    The process of getting the grant and the document you use to manage the estate is called probate. If you need help applying for probate, we can do this for you. You can call us on 0800 056 0171 to find out more about this service.

    In Scotland, this process is different. It is called Confirmation and is usually handled at the Sheriff Court.

    10. Can I tell you online?

    If you’re not ready to talk to us yet, you can start the process with an online form. Then when you're ready, we can help you finish the rest.

    11. How do I get a death certificate?

    When someone dies, you’ll get a medical certificate which shows 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 when you talk to many companies to prove someone has actually died. Ask for more than one copy of this because you'll have to show it a few times.

    Sometimes, the cause of death isn't known. If this is the case, the coroner will give you an interim certificate. It will confirm a death has happened and you can use it instead of a death certificate.

  • Assets

    Any property or possession with monetary value.

    Beneficiary

    Anyone that gets something from the Estate.

    Estate

    The total sum of assets left after all debts have been paid.

    Executor

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

    Intestate

    The term used when the person has died without a will in place.

    Letters of administration

    This is a document that lets you deal with the deceased's estate. You'd get this if there isn't an executor.

    Liabilities

    This is any debt the deceased has. Or any cost an executor has had to pay while handling the estate.

    Personal Representatives

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

    Trust

    A trust is when you hold money or property for someone else. Normally, people do this for children until they're old enough to handle their money.

    Will

    A legal document that says who benefits from the estate and in what way. It also names an executor. This is the person who carries out the wishes in the will. If there is no will, it's called intestate. 

  • Gov.uk

    For help with what to do after someone dies visit: www.gov.uk/after-a-death

    For information on reporting a death, wills, probate or inheritance tax visit: www.gov.uk/browse/births-deaths-marriages/death

    Death Notification Service

    When someone dies, you can tell many companies at the same. Visit: www.deathnotificationservice.co.uk

    Probate

    To apply for powers to process the will in England and Wales:
    Call: 0845 302 0900 or visit www.gov.uk/wills-probate-inheritance

    To apply for powers to process the will in Scotland:
    Apply at your local sheriffs court
    Call: 0131 334 0380 or visit: www.mygov.scot/confirmation/

    HM Inheritance Tax

    For help with tax issues.

    Call: 0845 30 20 900 or visit: www.gov.uk/inheritance-tax

    Citizens Advice Bureau

    For legal help or to get contacts for counselling:

    Visit: www.adviceguide.org.uk


    Cruse Bereavement Care

    For general information, counselling and support.

    Call: 0808 808 1677 or visit: www.cruse.org.uk

    The Bereavement Register

    You can use this to take the deceased’s name and addresses off mailing lists or other databases.

    Call: 0207 089 6403 or visit http://www.thebereavementregister.co.uk/.

Bereavement support guide

We know there’s a lot to process, so we've created a personal guide with more information on your next steps. We've broken down each step in more detail and given useful answers to other questions you may have. You'll find more on how we can help you, what to do with accounts and anything else you may need to do.

Download our guide (PDF)

Other accounts

If you're dealing with one of these accounts, our guides are here to help.

Share Dealing (PDF)

Scottish Widows (PDF)

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.