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What to do when someone dies

Sorting out finances after a bereavement

We are very sorry that you have had a bereavement. It’s bound to be a very difficult time, so we do our best to make sure dealing with us is easy and straightforward.

What to do first

What to do first

Register the death

You will need to register the death at a register office within 5 days (8 days in Scotland). You may need to make an appointment. If you go to the register office closest to where the person died, you will be given the documents – including the death certificate that you need to close their bank accounts – the same day. If the death is still under investigation you will be issued an interim death certificate or ‘coroner’s certificate of fact of death’ instead of a death certificate. It’s a good idea to get several copies of the death certificate, if you can afford to. This means you won’t have to wait for your only copy to be returned each time you have to show it.


Find the Will

If there is a Will make sure that you have the most up-to-date version, as some people hold on to older versions for their records.


Organise the funeral

It can be difficult to cover the costs of a funeral, but there are ways we can help. If there are enough funds in the deceased’s accounts with us, we can pay the funeral director for you. All we need is an invoice.

Alternatively, we can reimburse any costs you have already covered. We need to see proof of payment like a receipt, and proof of the account that the payment came from. The reimbursement will be paid in to the same account.

Please send the documents by post, take them to a store, or submit via email to bereavement.services@metrobank.plc.uk.

Please note that we won’t release any funds from the deceased’s accounts for any reason other than paying for the funeral expenses.


Decide who will deal with the estate

Dealing with the estate yourself

You can deal with the estate yourself rather than appointing someone else to do it. You may need to apply for probate. Find out more in our FAQs below.

Appoint someone to administer the estate (if you wish)

You might find it easier to appoint a solicitor, chartered accountant, specialist probate service or bank to handle the administration. Bear in mind you’ll have to pay for this service.

Telling Metro Bank about the death

Telling Metro Bank about the death

You only need to tell us once that someone has passed away, as we will find everything they held with us. You can contact us if you are:

  • the next of kin, a parent or a family member
  • an executor of the Will
  • a personal representative if there is no Will
  • a legal representative.

Please note that we will not discuss any account information with anyone not listed above.


The documents we need 

  • Proof of death – either the original death certificate or a certified copy. It can also be an interim death certificate or coroner’s certificate.
  • Your ID for example a valid passport or driving licence. Please see the FAQs below
  • BNF a Bereavement Notification Form
  • DEIF a Deceased Estates Indemnity Form, which must be witnessed by a solicitor.

You can take the original documents to a store, email them to us, or post copies. See our contact details below.


Here’s a guide to what else is needed for different account types:

For all personal bank accounts (joint or sole)

All the documents listed above
  • The Will:
    • if you have the Will, please bring the original with you
    • if you think the Will is in a Metro Bank Safe Deposit Box, please let us know
    • if there isn’t a Will we can still help you with collecting a person’s estate, if the assets held with Metro Bank total less than £15,000. There is guidance on this on gov.uk: make a claim to a deceased person's estate.

For balances of £5,000 to £25,000

All of the above and:
  • payment instructions for the funds (i.e. account details, or please specify if you would prefer a cheque).
Please note that, if the funds are being paid into an account not held by ALL executors, we will need to see a letter of authority from the executors who are not parties to that account.

For balances of £25,000+


All of the above and:
  • the original Grant of Probate (GOP).

For a Safe Deposit Box (SDB)

All of the above and:
  • ID for all named executors/next of kin.
  • the original Grant of Probate (GOP). (Not needed if the box was opened as a joint box before September 2014, and the deceased customer was the primary/secondary holder). See the FAQs below for more information.
  • finally, you will need to visit the store to finish closing the box.

For business accounts

If the deceased is the sole account holder and the account is being closed, please follow the directions for personal accounts.

If the next of kin or a personal representative is going to take over the business OR the business has other signatories who wish to continue trading, please follow the directions for personal accounts, and also provide:

  • ID for all named executors/next of kin.
You will also need to do the following:
  1. Inform Companies House of the death
  2. Have the deceased’s name removed from the business
  3. Have the new Director’s name added to the business
  4. Visit a store to have new mandates signed and the new Director added to the accounts.

Our bereavement services team will get in touch with the relevant Metro Bank Local Business Manager on your behalf.

 

For a mortgage

We will require the death certificate.

Our bereavement services team will get in touch with the mortgage team on your behalf.

For borrowing (e.g. a credit card)

Please follow the instructions for personal accounts, and also provide ID for all named executors/next of kin.

For a RateSetter loan

All of the documents listed above for ‘borrowing’.

Our bereavement services team will get in touch with RateSetter on your behalf.

 

 

 

What happens next?

What happens next?

If the deceased held a Safe Deposit Box with us you will need to visit a store to make the final arrangements. Otherwise, we will not need you to come in.

Here is a guide to what happens next for different account types:

Sole personal accounts

We will credit any funds in the account to the beneficiary. We will then close the account.

This means that any Direct Debits and standing orders from the account will be cancelled. If these are ongoing payments you will need to arrange to pay them from another account.

Joint personal accounts

The account will be put in the sole name of the remaining account holder. All Direct Debits and standing orders will continue as before.

Safe Deposit Boxes

The contents of the box will be released to the beneficiary (or executor/administrator) once we have received their Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. The box will be closed and any joint or additional person’s access to the box will end. You will need to visit a store to sign the paperwork.

If a beneficiary wants to continue to hold a Safe Deposit Box with us, the box can be reopened under their name.

Mortgages

The Metro Bank mortgage team will contact you.

Loans, credit cards and overdrafts

We will use funds from current or savings accounts the deceased held with us to pay off any outstanding debts. Alternatively you can choose to pay these off. Additional cardholders won’t be able to use their cards anymore.

 

Contact our bereavement services team

You can speak to the bereavement services team via email, on the phone or by sending a letter. We're also available to speak to you in store. Find all the information you need below.

Email us

Email the bereavement services team

We will reply to emails within 3 working days.

Call us

Speak to us on the phone by calling 0203 824 4815

We're available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Write to us

Send us a letter addressed to the bereavement services team

Metro Bank, One Southampton Row, London WC1B 5HA.

Want to speak to us in store?

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FAQs

What ID do you accept for executors and next of kin?

We accept the following as ID (if you’re using non-photo ID, we need to see 3 forms of ID in total):

Photo ID (please provide one)

  • A valid passport
  • A valid full/provisional UK photo card driving licence

Non-photo ID (please provide three)

  • A valid old style UK driving licence
  • HMRC documentation
  • A notification letter from a benefits agency or local authority
  • A utility bill or a Sky or cable TV bill
  • A bank, building society, credit union or credit card statement
  • A life assurance or life insurance policy document, dated within the last 3 months but outside of the cancellation period
  • A motor insurance certificate, valid for the current year but outside of the cancellation period

Please note that we can’t accept cover notes.

We need to see ID for all executors named on the Grant of Probate. A Letter of Authority signed by the other executors is needed if the funds are going to an account that is not held by all of them.

What if I don’t live near a store?

You can email or post us scanned copies of documents and ID, and in most cases we won’t need you to visit a store.

If the deceased had a Safe Deposit Box with us, you will need to visit a store to make the final arrangements and sign the paperwork.

Can I get account statements for the deceased?

Once we’ve seen the original death certificate (or equivalent) and the representative’s ID has been provided we can give you the deceased’s account statements.

How do I get a Grant of Probate / Letters of Administration?

The process for Wills, probate and inheritance depends on where the deceased lived:

To apply for a Grant of Probate you will need to:

  1. Complete a probate application form (PA1)
  2. Complete an Inheritance Tax form – whether or not you think Inheritance Tax is owed
  3. Send your application to your local Probate Registry
  4. Swear an oath

You can find the Grant of Probate forms online or call 0300 123 1072 for more information.

You can also find the Inheritance Tax forms online.

What happens to savings like ISAs?

ISAs

We will credit any funds in the account to the beneficiary. We will then close the account. Please be aware that ISA tax benefits end in the event of a death.

Any married or civil partners can inherit an ISA allowance, equal to the amount the person had in their ISA when they passed away. They are entitled to this additional allowance for up to three years.

 

Other savings accounts

We will credit any funds in the account to the beneficiary. We will then close the account.

For fixed-term savings accounts, the term can be cut short in the event of a death, so this type of account will be treated in the same way as any other savings.

What if my deceased spouse had an ISA and I would like to take advantage of the ISA inheritance allowance?

Once we’ve seen all the estate documents, we will also need to see a marriage/civil partnership certificate. Then we will ask you to complete an ISA inheritance form.

If your ISA is with another provider (i.e. not Metro Bank), you’ll need to ask them to request an ISA allowance transfer from us.

 

 

What do I do about inheritance tax?

There are a number of rules around whether Inheritance Tax needs to be paid. You’ll need to complete a tax form either way. The best place to start is by contacting HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on 0300 123 1072 for more information.

If Inheritance Tax does need to be paid, and there are sufficient funds in an account held with us, we can pay HMRC directly for you. All we need is a completed IHT423 form from HMRC.

 

 

How do I arrange a valuation for the contents of a Safe Deposit Box?

Please let us know if you need a valuation and can arrange it being done by:

  • you or your personal representative
  • the Metro Bank store where the box is located
  • a valuation service, if the executor or administrator tells us who they have appointed for the task.
What if a friend wants to act as an administrator?

If the family is shielding or unable to get to a store, a friend can act on their behalf. We will need to see the original death certificate (or equivalent), valid photo ID for the friend, and a signed letter of authority from the next of kin stating they are happy for the friend to act on their behalf.

If there is no next of kin, a friend can act as an administrator if they provide us with a letter of administration and the original/certified Death Certificate (or equivalent), valid photo ID and a completed Bereavement Notification Form.

 

Where to get help

Mind

The mental health charity has ‘information on bereavement, where to go for support, and suggestions for helping yourself and others through grief’.

Age UK

The UK’s leading charity for older people talks through all the different emotions you might be feeling when someone dies.

Cruse Bereavement Care

Cruse has counsellors you can speak to online, plus resources for individual and group support, and for children and young people.

Samaritans

The Samaritans have a specialised support service called ‘Facing the Future’ for those bereaved by suicide.

Child Bereavement UK

Support for individuals, couples, children, young people and families when a child dies or experiences bereavement.

National Association of Widows

Support for women and men of any age who have lost their wife, husband or partner through bereavement.

Fraud and security

Fraudsters have been known to target bereaved people, making claims for fake debts on the deceased’s estate. Please make sure that any debt is genuine before paying, and double-check the payment details so that you’re sure the money is going to the right place.

We take fraud seriously and will always do our best to protect you, but there are also ways you can help protect yourself from becoming a victim of fraud.

Read more about fraud and security

Glossary

Administrator

The person appointed when either no will can be found or there is no executor to carry out the intentions of the will.


Beneficiary

Someone who is entitled to receive a specific gift, sum of money or share of the estate.


Death Certificate

This is the legal document you get from a registrar, confirming the date, location and cause of the person’s death. We will accept the original death certificate, a certified copy, a death certificate verification form, or an interim death certificate.


Estate

A person’s estate includes everything they own and everything that’s registered in their name.


Executor

The person or persons named in a will to deal with the estate following a person’s death.


Personal representative

This is the executor or administrator managing the deceased’s estate. The personal representative is responsible for administering the estate, which means they need to collect all the assets and pay all bills and debts that need to be paid. Depending on how much money and assets the person who died had, the personal representative may need to apply for a Grant of Probate – if so, then no accounts can be closed until they have this document.


Grant of Probate

This is the official document that confirms to the executors that they have authority to act and which validates the will. Where there’s a Will, this will be a ‘Grant of Probate’. Where there’s no Will, it will be ‘Letters of Administration’.


Letters of Administration

This is the official document that appoints people to handle a person’s estate if:

  • there is no Will
  • there are no executors appointed in the Will
  • no executors are still living
  • no executors are willing to carry out the executor’s duties.

Inheritance Tax

A tax on the estate that generally applies when someone dies and when the value of their estate is above a specific threshold. The tax is paid before the estate can be distributed to the beneficiaries.


Probate

Probate is the legal process of dealing with someone’s estate after they’ve died. It involves collecting all of the person’s assets – their money, property and belongings – as well as settling debts and paying any taxes due, then sharing out what’s left as directed in the Will.


Will

A legal document which indicates who should benefit from the estate and how. It also appoints an executor to distribute the estates, and may appoint guardians or contain funeral wishes.