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How to notify banks of a bereavement

Managing Accounts

One of the first administrative tasks is to notify the banks and building societies where your loved one held accounts. Most banks and building societies have a designated bereavement support customer service team, and they should explain the next steps to you once you’ve made the initial contact. The Death Notification Service covers most of the common banks and building societies in the UK – this is a useful tool to avoid having to contact multiple organisations.

Who can do this?

In most cases, the banks and building societies will need to speak to the executor of a will, or the next-of-kin/administrator if your loved one died without leaving a will.

When to do this?

This is one of the first tasks you’ll need to complete. Once you have a death certificate, contact the bank or building society so they can temporarily freeze any payment in or out of the account. Joint bank accounts can continue to be used as normal. Any funds in the account can be used to pay for the funeral and probate fees or Inheritance Tax, if applicable.

Introduction to the Death Notification Service

We recommend using the Death Notification Service to start the process of notifying financial organisations. This service allows you to inform several banks and building societies of your loved one’s death at the same time. You just have to fill out one form and it will notify all the providers for you.

The organisations that are covered include:

  • Bank of Scotland
  • Barclaycard
  • Barclays
  • Cahoot
  • CitiBank
  • Clerical Medical
  • First Direct
  • Halifax
  • HSBC
  • IDEM Servicing
  • Leeds Building Society 
  • Lloyds Bank
  • M&S Bank
  • MBNA
  • Moorgate Loan Servicing
  • Nationwide Building Society
  • Natwest
  • Paragon
  • Rothesay
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Santander
  • Scottish Widows
  • The Mortgage Works
  • UCB Home Loans Ltd

With new organisations being added regularly.

Using the Death Notification Service (DNS)

Step 1 – Gather the following details about your loved one:

  • Their full name 
  • Their date of birth
  • The date of their death
  • Their last address
  • The Death Certificate number (also called a ‘System Number’ which can be found at the bottom left hand side of the death certificate)

Helpful, but not mandatory, details include: 

  • Bank account number(s) and sort code(s)
  • Building Society account number(s)
  • Confirmation of any credit cards 

Step 2 – Visit the Death Notification Service website

Head to the DNS Website: Death Notification Service

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the yellow button that says ‘Submit Death Notification’ to begin. We recommend you create an account afterwards so you can add other accounts that you might have forgotten about at a later date.

Step 3 – Next steps

Within 10 working days, you should receive instructions of what to do next from each of the individual financial organisations. For example, you may need to provide a copy of the death certificate.

Contacting companies directly to notify them of a death

The following organisations are not covered by the Death Notification Service. We have included links to the customer support team on their websites, so you can find the information to contact them yourself:

When notifying a bank or building society, make sure you have the following information to hand: 

  • Your loved one’s full name, date of birth and last address
  • A copy of their death certificate 
  • Bank account details (e.g. account number and sort code) if you have them
  • Your relationship to the deceased, plus a form of identification