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Here to help

When someone dies, the administration can be overwhelming. If they had a Coventry Building Society account which you’re dealing with, we’ll try to make things as easy as possible for you.

This page is about Coventry savings accounts – if you need information because a mortgage-holder has died, you need this page instead:

What to do when someone dies – mortgages

Get in touch

Call our specialist team on 0800 587 4565.

Visit any of our branches if you'd prefer to talk to one of us face-to-face. Please call your branch in advance to make an appointment.

What we need to see

First of all, we'll need to see a copy of the death certificate. We may also need to see the grant of probate or letters of administration form.

If a grant of probate or letters of administration are being applied for, we'll need sight of the court sealed copy before we can close an account, irrespective of the balance.

Under £5,000


  • Originals of either the death certificate or interim death certificate, or copies certified by a solicitor

  • A Statutory Declaration completed by all the executors. This can be witnessed by our staff.

Download Declaration (when there's a will)

Download Declaration (where there's no will, intestate)


  • 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). 


Between £5,000 and £30,000


  • Originals of either the death certificate or interim death certificate, or copies certified by a solicitor

  • Statutory declaration, completed by all the executors and witnessed by a Justice of the Peace, a solicitor or a commissioner for oaths.

Download Declaration (when there's a will)

Download Declaration (where there's no will, intestate)

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


Over £30,000

  • Original death certificate

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

Not sure?  

If you’re not sure how much is in the account, or how to obtain the documents we need to see, call us on 0800 587 4565.  We’ll do our best to help.

About 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.

How do I know if I need 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 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 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.

About the will

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 no will

If you’re the next of kin, you can apply for 'letters of administration’. This will give you the authority to administer the estate.

You may need a solicitor 

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

If you decide not to use a solicitor, HM Courts and Tribunals Service has a useful guide called ‘How to Obtain Probate – A Guide for People Acting Without a Solicitor’. You can download it by going to (in the field ‘Form/leaflet number’, type ‘PA2’).

About the account 

If the account’s in joint names
We’ll transfer the account into the name of the surviving account holder(s). We’ll need to see a copy of the death certificate before we can do this. 

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 in some cases, the will.

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

If the account’s an ISA
There’s a different process for closing an ISA. Call us on 0800 587 4565 for more information. 

Taking money out of the account
There are some payments that we can make for you from the account, for example:

  • Funeral expenses, memorial stone/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.

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 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 if it's not in English.

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.

Credit Suisse or Aviva investments

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.

If you have any other questions

Get in touch - we're here to help. Call our specialist team on 0800 587 4565 or come into any branch.