Help with bereavement

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I get the Death Certificate?

The Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages will issue the Death Certificate once the death has been registered.  If you need help, you can find out how to register a death via the General Register Office for England and Wales.

Do I need a solicitor?

If you’re not sure if you need legal assistance to help you deal with the deceased’s Will and Estate, a good place to get free advice and support is the Citizens Advice Bureau. If you need a Solicitor, all accredited Solicitors are listed in The Law Society register.

If there is a Will: What does an Executor do?

The Executor will find the Will, apply for the Grant of Probate, make funeral  arrangements, collect all assets, pay any outstanding debts including any tax owed, and distribute the assets in line with the deceased’s Will.

If there is a Will: What is Probate?

Probate is the legal process where the Probate Office of The High Court certifies the authenticity of the Will and allows the Executor to act.

If there is no Will: What does an Administrator do?

If a person dies without making a valid Will, they will have died ’intestate’. An Administrator must be appointed to deal with the Estate (rather than an Executor). In this situation, you may need to speak to a Solicitor to help you determine how the deceased’s Estate should be dealt with.

If there is no Will: What are Letters of Administration?

If there is no valid Will, a person who is a Next of Kin can apply to the Probate Office of The High Court to be the Administrator named in Letters of Administration; this Will enables them to deal with the deceased’s Estate.

What happens to joint bank accounts?

Any money in a joint bank account transfers to the remaining account holder(s) and isn’t part of the deceased’s account holder’s Estate. The account may continue in the remaining account holder’s name if it’s appropriate – we just need to receive a request for this. The remaining account holder will be responsible for the account until it is closed.

What happens to credit cards?

If the deceased person had a credit card, you may need to consider cancelling any existing direct debits which are on the card. Always ensure the card is kept securely.

What happens to joint mortgages?

The mortgage may be repaid in full or part. If there is a life assurance policy that could reduce or clear the mortgage, the mortgage payments may be postponed until the policy pays out.

To discuss this, please call our Mortgage Services Team on 0345 300 8000.

If the mortgage is to remain, the mortgage payments must be paid and interest will be added to the account until it’s cleared. If you experience any difficulty in making the payments, please speak to one of our specialists on 0800 169 9722 to discuss possible options. Ultimately, you may want to talk to an FCA authorised financial advisor to consider your options.

 

What happens to trust accounts?

If the deceased person held a trust account and you are a beneficiary, we recommend that you get independent financial and/or legal advice.

What happens to standing orders and direct debits?

Any standing orders or direct debits will be returned unpaid once we’ve been told the account holder has passed away. To do this you will need to contact all the firms that have a direct debit linked to the deceased’s bank account.

What happens with interest charges on loans or mortgages?

Interest won’t be charged on unsecured debts like credit cards and unsecured fixed rate personal loans. However, secured debts like mortgages or secured personal loans will continue to accrue interest charges until the Estate is finalised and the loan is repaid or refinanced.

How long will it take to settle a deceased person’s finances?

The time needed to finalise your dealings with us can vary considerably. We will work with you to do this as quickly as possible .

What is safe custody?

In the past we provided a service to keep items securely. This is called keeping items in safe custody or safe keeping. We can carry out a search to find out if the person who has died had anything held in safe custody. We will not know the contents of the safe custody packet.

We cannot release any items in safe custody until the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration have been granted. If you know that there are items in safe custody, you will need to apply for Probate in order to get them. If the item that is in safe custody is the original Will, this will be released to the Executor or Administrator.

What do I do if Post Office Money is still sending mail?

It is normal to receive a final statement for any transaction account once it’s been finalised, showing a nil balance. If you continue to receive mail in the deceased customer’s name beyond this point, please contact us.

Can we help?

Tell us about a bereavement or make a payment

Mortgages

0345 300 8000 8.30am-7.30pm, Mon-Fri
09.00am-1.30pm, Sat

Having trouble making payments?

0800 169 9722

Current Accounts

0345 266 8977 8am-10pm, Mon-Fri
8am-6pm, Sat
10am 5pm, Sun and Bank Holiday

Credit Cards

0345 607 6500 8am-10pm, Mon-Fri
8am-6pm, Sat
10am-5pm, Sun and Bank Holidays