Bereavement Help and Advice
When you lose someone close to you, organising their finances can seem overwhelming. We’ve put together a step by step guide to take you through the process.
table of charges
Distribution of assets
Dealing commission (per stock)
£12.50 (sales only)
Transfer of stock to another provider
£25 per investment (max £125)
Withdrawal of stock onto a certificate
£25 per withdrawal
How do we take payment?
Where possible, any charges will be taken from the share dealing account. If there isn’t an available balance to pay some, or all of the charges, we’ll contact the executor by letter requesting an alternative payment method.
If you’d like to pay any of the charges by cheque please make this payable to Bank of Scotland Share Dealing and send to the following address:
Bank of Scotland Share Dealing
Lovell Park Road
Any property or possession with monetary value.
The laws relating to inheritance and property in Scotland are different to other parts of the United Kingdom. The equivalent process to probate is called ‘Confirmation’.
In Scotland, a small estate is classed as an estate with a total value of less than £36,000. These can be dealt with by private individuals, although the requirement for confirmation will be decided by the individual companies you are dealing with.
If the estate is larger than £36,000 and, especially if a property is involved, we recommend the use of a solicitor. Further support on how to deal with a deceased’s small estate in Scotland can be found on the Scottish Courts and Tribunals website at https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/taking-action/dealing-with-a-deceased's-estate-in-scotland/small-estates.
A document which confirms the value of the remaining assets (cash and/or stock) held within the account at the time of death. The valuation will help the executor to determine if a Grant of Probate or Small Estates Form is required.
A certified copy of the entry made in the Death Register. The registrar will be able, for a fee, to provide a number of certified copies to save time when you’re registering claims with various companies.
Distribution of assets
Distribution of the assets refers to the process of selling assets held within a share dealing account as instructed by the named executor of the account.
Distribution of the assets can also refer to the executor’s choice to transfer assets held to an account in their own name or the withdrawal of assets onto a certificate.
As executor or administrator (executor-nominate or dative in Scotland) you may have responsibility for one or more of the following:
- Registration of the death
- Arranging the funeral service
- Paying urgent expenses i.e. funeral costs
- Obtaining legal documents (grants)
- Informing financial institutions - banks, insurance companies, pensions
- Listing all the assets and liabilities of the estate
- Paying any tax liabilities i.e. inheritance tax
- Appointing trustees if required for beneficiaries of the will
Grant of Probate
A grant of probate is an official document issued by the Probate Registry which the executors may need to administer the estate. This document will only be issued once the Probate Registry has received the necessary application forms from the named executor, the will’s validity has been checked, and any owed taxes are paid.
If the estate is small, or if it’s held in joint names and passes automatically to the surviving owner (as is often the case with married couples), you may not need to apply for probate.
If there’s a will, you’ll need to get a Grant of Probate; if there isn’t a will, you’ll need to get Letters of Administration (in Scotland this is called a Grant of Confirmation).
Probate is the process you go through if you’re handling the estate of someone who has died.
The process includes:
- Identifying what’s in the estate and its value.
- Completing the necessary application forms for both the probate registry and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
- Gathering the assets and dealing with any property, paying any debts and completing the legal processes to cover you against late claims in the estate.
The same application process has to be made by the administrator of an intestate estate, where there is no will. The grant issued in this situation is called ‘letters of administration’. If there is a will but no executor for any reason, the grant is called ‘letters of administration with will annexed’.
The responsibilities include making sure all taxes and debts are paid before any money can be given to beneficiaries (the people nominated to benefit from the will) and that in general the estate is managed in a way that best serves the beneficiaries.
Rules of intestacy
When a person dies without leaving a will they are described as dying intestate. Certain legal rules called the intestacy rules will determine how the person’s estate is distributed.
A deal to buy or sell an investment such as shares.
Before we can withdraw any funds, trade or transfer from the account we need to complete identity and verification checks. We attempt to do this electronically however you may be required to send in original or certified copies of documents from the below list if we cannot do this.
Proof of identity – accepted documents
- Unexpired passport with signature.
- Unexpired UK photo card full driving licence with signature.
- Unexpired UK full paper driving licence with signature.
- Unexpired UK photo card style provisional driving licence with signature.
- Unexpired EU/EEA driving licence with photograph and signature - must be issued by a member state of the EU/EEA.
- Unexpired firearms certificate.
- Unexpired Northern Ireland voters card (aka Electoral Identity Card).
- Unexpired EEA or equivalent jurisdiction national Identity card with photograph and signature.
- Unexpired blue disabled driver’s pass – UK only, unexpired and needs to bear a passport-sized photograph, name and signature, expiry date and issuer details.
- Unexpired biometric residence permit – issued by the Home Office.
- UK benefits/state pension notification letters – must be from an official source, i.e. Job Centre.
- Plus or Department for Work and Pensions / Local Authority, confirming the rights to a benefit.
- The letter must be dated within the last 12 months or current benefit period.
- HM Revenue and Customs tax notification – must be a HMRC tax notification e.g. statement of account, notice of coding relating to the current year. P45s or P60s are not acceptable as these are not official HMRC documents.
- Utility bill dated within the last 3 months – utility bills printed from the internet, mobile phone, broadband or internet provider bills, and any reminders or arrears letters are not acceptable.
- Council tax demand letter or statement – valid for the current year or less than 12 months old. Reminders and arrears letters are not acceptable.
- Unexpired UK photo card full driving licence with signature (only acceptable if it is not being used as your proof of identity).
- Unexpired UK full paper driving licence with signature (only acceptable if it is not being used as your proof of identity).
- Unexpired EU/EEA driving licence with photograph and signature - must be issued by a member state of the EU/EEA (only acceptable if it is not being used as your proof of identity).
- Bank or building society statement – must be issued by a regulated financial sector firm in the UK, EU or equivalent jurisdiction and dated and showing transactions within the last 3 months.
- Statements showing interest only or carry forward balances are not acceptable – those printed from the internet or ISA statements are not acceptable.
- Mortgage statement - must be issued by a regulated financial sector firm in the UK, EU or equivalent jurisdiction and dated within the last 12 months. Those printed from the internet are not acceptable.
- HM Revenue and Customs correspondence - issued within the last 5 months and including 10 digit tax reference or NI number (only acceptable if it is not being used as your proof of identity). P45s or P60s are not acceptable as these are not official HMRC documents.
- UK Benefits/state pension notification letters – must be from an official source, i.e. Job Centre Plus or Department for Work and Pensions / Local Authority, confirming the rights to a benefit. The letter must be dated within the last 12 months or current benefit period (only acceptable if it is not being used as your proof of identity).
- Solicitors' correspondence - confirming a house purchase in the last 3 months and dated in that period.
Citizens Advice Bureau
For help on practical and legal matters and contacts for counselling, help and support. Look in your telephone directory for your local office or visit www.adviceguide.org.uk in England and Wales, www.cas.org.uk in Scotland or www.citizensadvice.co.uk in Northern Ireland.
Cruse Bereavement Care
Lesbian and Gay Bereavement Project
For support after the death of a partner. London Friend, 86 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DN. Tel: 020 7833 1674
National Association of Funeral Directors
The Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors
Natural Death Centre
For information about alternative and environmentally friendly funerals and committals. In the Mill House, Watley Lane, Twyford, Winchester SO21 1QX. Tel: 01962 712 690 or visit www.naturaldeath.org.uk.
British Humanist Association
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
National Association of Memorial Masons
Holds a database of names of local monumental masons for tombstones and memorials. Castle Mews, Rugby, Warwickshire CV21 2XL. Tel: 01788 542264, Fax: 01788 542276, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.namm.org.uk.
The General Register for Scotland
HM Revenue & Customs
Support for HIV and AIDS
Gives details of addresses of regional offices. Tel: 03002 220 000 or visit www.gov.uk/browse/driving/passports-travelling-abroad.
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
DVLA, Swansea SA99 1BY or visit www.dvla.gov.uk
Register a death with Bank of Scotland Share Dealing
To be able to sell, transfer any holdings or withdraw funds from an account where the account holder has passed away, an executor will need to contact us. Outlined below is a guide to how the executor can register with us.
1. Send in an original, or certified copy of, the death certificate.
Once we’ve received the death certificate we will update the account and issue a letter to the account’s registered address requesting a Grant of Probate (in Scotland this is called a Certificate of Confirmation) or Small Estates Form. This letter will include a valuation of the account and an Executor/Administration Instruction Form.
If the total value of the share dealing accounts at date of death was less than £50,000 and a Grant of Probate is not being obtained we can accept a Small Estates Declaration & Indemnity Form. Please note that in Scotland, a small estate is classed as an estate with a total value of less than £36,000. Confirmation from the court will be required if the estate is valued above this amount. Further information can be found at https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/taking-action/dealing-with-a-deceased%27s-estate-in-scotland.
Download a Small Estates Form.
Please note: if the estate is valued at over £5,000 then the form will need counter signing by a solicitor registered on the official Law Society website.
Once we’ve received an Executor/Administration Instruction Form and either a Grant of Probate or Small Estates Form we will carry out the requested instructions.
Who can certify a copy of the death certificate?
- A solicitor registered on the official Law Society website
So that we can find your solicitor on the Law Society register they will need to note the document with their name, signature and an identifier or reference.
- A member of our branch staff
If the document is certified in a Bank of Scotland branch, it must bear the mark of the staff member who had sight of the original, their ID number and the official branch stamp.
Please send the original or certified copy to:
Bank of Scotland Share Dealing
Lovell Park Road
Please note: For estates valued over £5,000 you will need the completed Small Estates Form to be counter signed by a solicitor who is registered on the official law society website.
2. Selling, transferring or withdrawing funds
The named executor or solicitor will be sent an Executor/Administration Instruction Form which you’ll need to complete if you would like to sell shares, transfer shares to another account or withdraw cash from the account.
Please note: the form must contain original signatures from all named executors.
Any further correspondence will be issued to the address of the executor(s). We can send the correspondence to a solicitor managing an account if you would prefer, however you will need to confirm this in writing to our legal department:
Bank of Scotland Share Dealing
Lovell Park Road
What happens once I send off an Executor Sales/Administration Form?
Once we have received an Executor Sales/Administration Form we will sell the specified holding(s) when reasonably practicable (usually within two working days). Settlement will vary depending on both the type of investment and the stock market it trades on.
- UK shares - 2 working days.
- Funds - up to 10 working days.
- European markets - 2 working days.
- US markets - 2 working days.
We will send a cheque payment to the named executor(s) within approximately 10 working days.
You will be unable to transfer shares, withdraw available funds or the proceeds of a sale until the necessary identity and verification checks have been completed. All named executors listed in the Grant of Probate/Small Estates Form will be asked to complete these checks.
If you have sent a request to transfer stock to another Bank of Scotland Share Dealing account, this usually takes up to 10 working days to complete. Withdrawing stock onto a certificate can take considerably longer. We will be unable to complete a transfer or withdrawal unless all the necessary identity and verification checks have been completed.
Before we can withdraw any funds from the account we need to complete identity and verification checks. We attempt to do this electronically however you may be required to send in original or certified copies of documents from the proof of identity list and/or the proof of address list.
Bank of Scotland Share Dealing Service is operated by Halifax Share Dealing Limited. Halifax Share Dealing Limited. Registered in England and Wales no. 3195646. Registered Office: Trinity Road, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 2RG. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, 12 Endeavour Square, London, E20 1JN under registration number 183332. A Member of the London Stock Exchange and an HM Revenue & Customs Approved ISA Manager.