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When Someone One Dies….

27th June 2021

Metro Bank’s Bereavement Team Offers a Practical Guide to Bereavement Administration

When someone dies there is a lot of official paperwork that needs to be completed – some even comes with deadlines and fines if not processed properly and timely. As the UK’s community bank, Metro Bank has a specialist bereavement team to support anyone processing the administration at every stage through the bereavement process.

The team has created a practical guide to help everyone to understand what they need to do when dealing with the key stages of administration that surrounds a death.

“Losing someone is hard enough, without having to deal with all the official paperwork that has to be completed,” explains Dave Craggs, Director of Customer Support, Metro Bank. “Our bereavement team has the empathy and expertise to guide and support at these difficult moments and this practical guide explains the key steps in the process that need to be taken.”

  1. The medical certificate of cause of death.

When someone dies, a doctor needs to issue a medical certificate for the cause of death. This is the first stage of managing the paperwork needed to process every aspect of bereavement administration.

The certificate needs to include the name, age, place and cause of death about the deceased.  If the cause of death is clear, this certificate can be issued straightaway, otherwise you can expect a delay until further investigations have been carried out. Once any investigations have been completed, a Coroners Certificate of fact of death will be issued and the death can then be registered.

  1. Registering the death

Every death has to be legally registered. If you're in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you will have five days to register a death.  In Scotland you have up to eight days.

You will need to make an appointment at the register office near to the place of death and bring the medical certificate of cause of death with some identification proof such as the deceased’s passport, driving licence or birth certificate to the appointment.  Once you have registered the death the registrar will issue you with the Death Certificate.

Full details can be found on the government website and the registrar will also explain about this government web page that enables you to tell the government about the death, so all of its agencies are simultaneously informed at once including- for example - state pension, disability benefits and council services.

  1. The Will & The Estate

If the deceased has a Will the named executor/s will deal with the estate. They will need to obtain a Grant of Probation by completing a probate form which can be found online well as an inheritance tax form or by calling 0300 123 1072.

If there is no Will, a relative will be appointed as an administrator to deal with the estate. They will need to obtain Letters of Administration.

The deceased person’s property and belongings are called the estate.

Part of managing the estate includes the disposal of assets, payment of outstanding bills and debts as well as advising all the relevant organisations such as telecoms, social media, energy, financial services including insurance and banking for which there may be direct debits and standing orders as well as money and investments.

  1. The Bank

The deceased’s bank will play an integral part in the bereavement administration and each bank’s processes may vary slightly.

If the deceased banked with Metro Bank, you can inform us in person by visiting your local Metro Bank store, by phone, or via post and ask for the support of the bereavement team. 

The bereavement team will take you through the process step by step.  You will need to supply them with some documentation including the original death certificate, or an interim death certificate plus proof of your identification (i.e. passport, driving licence etc.) as well as the original Will.

If there isn’t a Will the bereavement team can still help you with collecting a person’s estate, in line with Government guidelines.

Once the bereavement team has all the necessary documents, they can help organise any money, property and possessions held with us. We will then guide you through what happens with each type of account – be it current, savings, joint, loans, investment or credit cards and how any funeral invoices and inheritance tax can be paid and settled.

You’ll need to either visit us in store, email the Bereavement Team – or via post to make these final arrangements and complete the necessary forms.

We can also help with paying for the funeral – for example if there are sufficient funds belonging to the deceased in an account held with us, we can pay funeral costs directly to the funeral director. All we need is a final invoice.  Alternatively, we can reimburse the funeral costs you have already covered. All you need to do is send us a proof of the payment and the person who made it, along with the final funeral invoice.

  1. Useful Links

Dave Craggs: “A person’s life is full of meaningful activity and interactions – each of which has to be closed off properly when they die.  Managing this entire process can take months and be complex depending on the volume of their personal contacts, possessions, property, money and investments, but help is at hand.”

There are many organisations that can help with this process including:

Metro Bank – Bereavement Team

UK Government – what to do when someone dies

Pension Tracing Service


Citizen’s Advice

Bereavement Advice Centre