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We are open but exceptionally busy. Where possible, please leave phone lines free for our most vulnerable customers. 


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Saturday 9am-2pm
Sunday closed
Closed on bank holidays 

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Bereavement FAQs

We know it’s a difficult time when you lose a loved one, so we'll do our best to make this process as easy as we can for you.

Registering a bereavement

How can I let you know someone has died?

To let us know someone has died, complete our bereavement notification form.

If you'd prefer to speak to us, call our bereavement team on 0800 587 4565. We’re open Monday to Friday 8am-7pm and Saturday 9am-2pm (closed bank holidays). Or visit a branch.

You can also notify us by post using this address:

PO Box 600
Oakfield House
Coventry
CV3 9YR

What happens after I've registered a bereavement?

If you've let us know someone has died but you're not formally dealing with their estate, you don't need to do anything else. We’ll register the information on our system and wait to hear from the person with the authority to deal with the estate.  

If the member had savings accounts in their name only, we'll cancel any cash cards on these accounts and also stop payments in or out.

If you're formally dealing with the member's estate

After you've registered the death with us, we'll write to you to tell you what happens next. 

It can take a few days to get this information together, so allow up to seven working days to receive this letter. You don't need to call us.

We'll confirm what else you'll need to send us in this letter.

You may need a solicitor

Many personal representatives act without a solicitor. However, if the estate is large or complicated, you may want to get legal advice.

Documents we may need to see

What will I need to provide if they had a savings account?

When you have registered a bereavement with us, if you're the person dealing with the member's estate, we'll write to you to tell you what happens next. 

We'll confirm what else you'll need to send us in this letter. If a grant of probate or letters of administration are being applied for, we'll need to see the court sealed copy before we can close an account, irrespective of the balance.

At any point, we may ask for a grant of probate or letters of administration, regardless of the amount of savings held.

For total balances of less than £5,000 with us, we'll need:

  • Original will (if there is one), or a copy certified by a solicitor
  • All executors and beneficiaries (as appropriate) should provide two original forms of identification (ID). 

For total balances between £5,000 and £30,000 with us, we'll need:

  • Original will (if there is one), or a copy certified by a solicitor

For total balances of more than £30,000 with us, well need:

  • Grant of probate or letters of administration (from the Probate Registry) 

If you’re unsure of how to obtain the documents we need to see, call us on 0800 587 4565.  We’ll do our best to help.

If you’re a beneficiary/executor/administrator, but you live abroad

You’ll need to sign a statutory declaration form and have it witnessed by one of the following people:

British Ambassador, envoys, ministers, consuls, Charge d'Affaires, Consul General, Notary Public, Officers of the Armed Forces Abroad or Secretaries of Embassies or Litigation.    

We’ll also need a translated death certificate (either original or certified copy) if it's not in English.

What will I need to provide if they had a mortgage?

When you have registered a bereavement with us, if you're the person dealing with the member's estate, we'll write to you to tell you what happens next.

We'll confirm what else you'll need to send us in this letter.

What we may need to see

We’ll need to see an original or certified copy of the death certificate. What else we’ll need from you will depend on whether the mortgage is in a sole name or in joint names.

For mortgages in sole names:

  • You may need a statement of the balance of the mortgage account at the date of death so that you can obtain the grant of probate – we can let you have this.
  • The personal representatives of the estate may want to redeem the mortgage and close the account. We can send a redemption statement.

For mortgages in joint names:

Joint tenants
 

If the property is jointly owned, when we’ve received the death certificate, we'll amend the mortgage account to the name of the surviving account holder(s).


Tenants in common


If the property is owned by two or more people as ‘tenants in common’, we’ll need to see an original or certified copy of either the grant of probate or letters of administration. This will enable us to discuss, or where required, provide further information to the personal representatives in regards to the mortgage.
 

If you don't know how to get the documents we need, call us on 0800 587 4565.  We’ll do our best to help. 

Where do I need to send them?

Send the documents we've asked for to:

PO Box 600
Oakfield House
Coventry
CV3 9YR

Don't worry, we'll send these documents back to you.

What happens if there's no will?

If there's no will and you’re the next of kin, you can apply for 'letters of administration’. This will give you the authority to administer the estate.

If there’s a will, it should say who the executor(s) are. Executors have the authority to deal with the estate of the person who’s died. For example, they can close accounts, deal with solicitors, pay outstanding bills and debts, make legacies and so on.

Glossary of common terms

What do all of these terms mean?

Administrator
Person(s) appointed to deal with an estate where no will has been left.

Beneficiary
Person(s) who will receive part or all of the estate under a will or intestacy.

Commissioner for oaths
A person appointed to administer oaths. Not always, but often this is a solicitor.

Death certificate
Document issued showing date and cause of death.

Estate
Total of the assets, property, and belongings of the deceased, less any liabilities.

Executor(s)
Person(s) appointed to deal with an estate when a will has been left.

Grant of probate (also known as ‘grant of confirmation’ in Scotland)
Certificate issued by the court confirming the authority of the executor(s) to administer the estate.

Grant of representation
A term used to describe either a grant of probate or letters of administration.

Intestate/Intestacy
When a person dies without leaving a will. The law will decide who inherits if there is no will.

Inheritance tax
Inheritance tax (IHT) may need to be paid on the estate if it’s worth more than a certain amount. The current rate can be found at www.hmrc.gov.uk/inheritancetax

Interim death certificate
If an inquest is required to determine cause of death, an interim death certificate will be issued. This will enable the probate process to start.

Joint tenants
Where two or more people own a property in equal, undivided shares. If one owner dies, the property will pass automatically to the survivor(s), regardless of whether a will has been made, and it doesn’t form part of the deceased’s estate.

Justice of the Peace
Magistrate.

Letters of administration
If there is no will, this certificate is issued by the court authorising persons who are nominated by law to administer the estate.

Personal representative
Either an executor for the estate where a will has been left, or the administrator of the deceased’s estate where there is no will.

Probate
The process of proving a will by the executors. The term is also commonly used to describe the process of obtaining a grant of representation, even where there is no will.

Statutory Declaration
This is a statement signed by both executors and beneficiaries which confirms that they are the executors and beneficiaries of the deceased and details the accounts held at the Coventry. It has to be signed in the presence of a Justice of the Peace, solicitor or commissioner for oaths.

Tenants in common
Where two or more people own a property in distinct shares. If one owner dies, their share doesn’t pass automatically to the survivor(s) – it will form part of the estate and will pass according to the will or intestacy.

Will
A will informs people what should happen to a person's money, possessions and property after they die (all these things together are called the 'estate'). If there’s a will, it should say who the executor(s) are. Executors have the authority to deal with the estate of the person who’s died. For example, they can close accounts, deal with solicitors, pay outstanding bills and debts, make legacies and so on. If there's not a will and you’re the next of kin, you can apply for 'letters of administration’. This will give you the authority to administer the estate.

Common questions - savings

What happens for sole and joint savings accounts?

If the account’s in joint names

We’ll transfer the account into the name of the surviving account holder(s).

If it’s a sole account

When we receive confirmation of the grant of probate, we’ll close the account. If you don’t need probate, we’ll need to see the death certificate, a signed statutory declaration and the will if they had one.

We can then transfer the money into a bank account specified by the executor(s).

At any point, we may ask for a grant of probate or letters of administration, regardless of the amount of savings held.

If the account’s an ISA

If you’re the spouse or civil partner of the person who has died and they had an ISA with us, you may be entitled to an additional ISA allowance. Read more about our Additional Allowance ISA or contact our specialist team on 0800 587 4565 for more information.

Can money be used from their account to pay bereavement expenses?

After someone's died, there are often expenses to be paid. If they had savings with us, there are some payments that we can make from their accounts, including:

  • funeral expenses, memorial stone or plaque, notice of death
    We'll need to see the original invoice. We make the cheque(s) payable to the supplier.

  • probate, letters of administration, court fees
    We make the cheque(s) payable to HM Courts and Tribunals Service. 

  • inheritance tax
    We'll need a completed HMRC form IHT423 or the probate summary form IHT421 with signed instructions from the executors or administrators.

If you need to make payments from their accounts, you'll need to send a letter and documents we've asked for to: 

PO Box 600
Oakfield House
Coventry
CV3 9YR

Don't worry we'll make sure we send any documents back to you.

What happens with payments in and out of the account?

Paying money into the account

If the account is in a sole name, you won't be able to pay any more money in after we've been notified of the death. But sometimes electronic payments are received and credited. If you have any specific questions about this, please contact us.

Interest on the savings

The savings in the account will continue to earn gross interest after the date of death.

For ISA accounts, those members who died on or after 6 April 2018, will continue to be paid interest tax-free up until either the completion of the administration of their estate, the date their ISA is closed or on the third anniversary of their death, whichever is the earliest. 

If there are cash cards on the account

If it’s a joint account, you’ll be able to use your card as usual. Any cards held in the name of the person who died will be cancelled – you can destroy these.

Automated payments

Payments on joint accounts will continue to be made as normal. If it’s a sole account, we’ll cancel all Direct Debits and standing orders. Contact us if you think this might be a problem.

How do I know if I need to apply for a grant of probate?

Probate is the process of proving a will by the executor(s).

A grant of probate is a certificate issued by the courts – it confirms the authority of the executor(s) to administer the estate.

The term is also used to describe the process of obtaining a grant of representation where there is no will.

When to apply for a grant of probate

You’ll probably need to apply for a grant of probate if the estate contains property, land or shares, or if it’s a large or complex estate. You'll also need to do this if their total savings balances with us are more than £30,000 (our probate limit). 

You may not need probate or a grant of representation if the estate: 

  • Doesn’t include land, property or shares – only cash and personal possessions
  • Will pass automatically to the surviving spouse or civil partner 
  • Is small or insolvent

If you’re not sure, your Probate Registry will be able to help you. Find your local office, go to www.gov.uk and type ‘find a court’ in the search box; click ‘Find a court’ then select ‘Probate’ in the options.

Or call the HMRC Probate and Inheritance Tax Helpline on 0300 123 1072.

What happens if they had accounts with Credit Suisse or Aviva?
If there are any investments with Credit Suisse or Aviva arranged through the Coventry, contact them directly and they'll be able to help you.

Common questions - mortgages

What happens for sole and joint mortgages?

When you have registered a bereavement with us, if you're the person dealing with the member's estate, we'll write to you to tell you what happens next.

It can take a few days to get this information together, so allow up to seven working days to receive this letter. You don't need to call us.

We'll confirm what else you'll need to send us in this letter.

For mortgages in sole names:

  • You may need a statement of the balance of the mortgage account at the date of death so that you can obtain the grant of probate or letters of administration – we can let you have this
  • The personal representatives of the estate may want to redeem the mortgage and close the account. We can send a redemption statement.

For mortgages in joint names:

Joint tenants
 

If the property is jointly owned, when we’ve received the death certificate, we'll amend the mortgage account to the name of the surviving account holder(s).

Tenants in common

If the property is owned by two or more people as ‘tenants in common’, we’ll need to see an original or certified copy of either the grant of probate or letters of administration. This will enable us to discuss or where required provide further information to the executors or administrators in regards to the mortgage.

The personal representatives of the estate will then need to contact the Land Registry to change the ownership of the property. When the register has been amended, we can remove their name from the mortgage account.
 

If you need to add to the mortgage account after we've completed this process, you’ll need to talk to one of our mortgage advisors, and any decision will be subject to our lending criteria.

Will interest and charges still apply?
If the mortgage account is redeemed following a death, we won't make you pay any early repayment charges. Interest will continue to accrue on all mortgage accounts until redemption.
I'm going to struggle to make my payments, what can I do?
Call us on 0800 121 8765  and we'll try and find an option that may work for you. Check our opening times as they may vary.

How do I get a mortgage redemption statement?

You'll need to register the bereavement with us first.

The easiest way to let us know someone has died is to complete our bereavement notification form.

If you're formally dealing with the member's estate, we'll then write to you to tell you what happens next. 

When we've seen an original or certified copy of the death certificate, you'll be able to request a mortgage redemption statement by calling us on 0800 121 8765. Check our opening hours as these may vary.

What happens if they had an Equity Release or Lifetime mortgage?

You'll need to register the bereavement with us first.

To let us know someone has died, complete our bereavement notification form.

If you'd prefer to speak to us, call our bereavement team on 0800 587 4565. We’re open Monday to Friday 8am-7pm and Saturday 9am-2pm (closed bank holidays). Or visit a branch.

You can also notify us by post using this address:

PO Box 600
Oakfield House
Coventry
CV3 9YR

If you're formally dealing with the member's estate, we'll then write to you to tell you what happens next. 

There is an endowment policy, how can I claim the funds?
If an endowment policy is assigned to the Society, we’ll claim any funds on your behalf. If the policy is not assigned to the Society, you'll need to contact the endowment policy company.

How can we improve this information?