Dealing with the death of a loved one is always a difficult time. We are here to support you when dealing with practical matters such as closing accounts. This guide has been put together to help make this as simple and straightforward as possible for you.
If you have any questions, we are here for you. You can call our Customer Service team on 0345 850 5555 to put you through to our dedicated Bereavement team.
What to do first:
Step 1 - Notifying us
- Contact us by phone
- Download and complete our Bereavement Notification form together with supporting documents in Step 2, and return to the following address:
PO Box 17484
87 Chase Side
Step 2 - Documents we will need
Please note we will return any original documents sent to us
|Death certificate||Original or a certified copy.|
|Proof of identification for Personal Representative(s) or Next of Kin||A valid passport or photo driving licence.|
|Proof of address for Personal Representative(s) or Next of Kin||Utility bill or bank statement dated within the last 6 months (mobile phone bills and online statements are not acceptable).|
|Copy of the Will (if available)||This is to determine the named Executor(s) of the deceased’s Estate.|
|Original Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration||Not required for joint accounts as the rule of Survivorship applies.|
|Instructions to close the account||Signed by all persons named as Executor(s) in the Grant of Probate or Administrator(s) in the Grant of Letters of Administration.|
Documents should be colour photocopies and can be certified by an EU bank, an EU solicitor, an EU accountant, or a UK Post Office.
Certified copies must be stamped to indicate they are ‘true copies of the original’. The certification must also include:
- The name and address of the certifying firm/organisation,
- The full name and signature of the certifying officer, and
- The date of certification.
What happens if there isn’t a Will?
If an individual dies without making a Will, they are said to have died ‘Intestate’.
If balances are required to help you apply for Grant of Letters of Administration, please call Customer Service who will direct you to our Bereavement team for further guidance.
Please see the list below of the order of who is entitled to act as Administrator and to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration.
- The surviving spouse of the deceased, provided such spouse survived the deceased by 28 days;
- The children of the deceased and the child of any child of the deceased who dies before the deceased;
- The father and mother of the deceased;
- The deceased's brothers and sisters and the child of deceased brothers and sisters;
- The deceased's half-brothers and sisters and, if deceased, their issue;
- Uncles and aunts of the deceased;
- Half-brothers and half-sisters of the deceased's parents.
If the Estate is below £10K in total
We may be willing to release the funds held in the account(s) of the deceased, to the Personal Representative(s) of the deceased without needing sight of Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration. To release the funds and close the account(s), an Account Closing Indemnity form needs to be signed by the Personal Representative(s).
The Account Closure Indemnity is a legally binding agreement signed by the Personal Representative(s) agreeing to indemnify us from and against all actions, costs, damages, claims and demands made against us by any person, for having permitted the withdrawal of the funds in the deceased’s account(s).
Payments from the Estate
Certain payments can be made from the deceased’s account(s) such as:
- Funeral expenses (part or full payment of the funeral invoice) we require the original funeral invoice to make payment direct to the funeral directors.
- Claiming back funeral expenses (already paid by the Personal Representative(s) we will require receipt of payment for funeral, original funeral invoice and a completed and signed Funeral Expenses Indemnity form.
- Inheritance Tax
Usually the ‘Executor(s)’ of the Will or the ‘Administrator(s)’ of the Estate pays Inheritance Tax using funds from the Estate.
Funds can be taken from the sole account of the deceased to pay directly to HMRC. We will need to receive a completed Direct Payment Scheme form which can be obtained from the Government website. This form must be completed and signed by the Personal Representative(s).
You can find out more information about Inheritance Tax here.
- Department of Work and Pensions
If an overpayment has been made to the sole account(s) of the deceased, we will refund the Department of Work and Pensions upon their request as this is a legal requirement.
What happens next?
Upon notification of death, the sole account(s) of the deceased will automatically be frozen, so no further payments will be debited from the account. All direct debits and standing orders will be cancelled.
We will amend the joint account to become solely in the survivor’s name only.
Please note that direct debits and standing orders will continue unless the surviving party instructs us otherwise.
Power of Attorney/Third Party
Upon notification of the death, the Power of Attorney or Third Party mandate becomes void and the attorney is removed from the account(s) of the deceased.
We can continue cash ISAs as “a continuing account of a deceased investor" (a "Continuing ISA") after the death of an account holder and continue to pay tax-free interest until the sooner of:
a) the completion of the administration of the deceased’s estate;
b) the day falling on the third anniversary of the death; or
c) the closure of the ISA account.
We are not permitted to accept any further new or transferred subscriptions into a Continuing ISA or transfer them to other providers. Subject to these requirements, we will continue to maintain a Continuing ISA until otherwise instructed by the personal representatives of the deceased or any one of the conditions listed above are met.
The tax-free benefit of ISA savings can pass on to the surviving spouse or civil partner of a deceased customer. This is known as ISA Additional Permitted Subscriptions where the spouse can apply for an additional ISA allowance equivalent to the higher of the value of the ISA on the death of the deceased and the value of the ISA on the date it stops being a Continuing ISA. Funds can then be deposited into the Additional Permitted Subscriptions cash ISA up to the amount of the allowance. Cynergy Bank does not currently accept Additional Permitted Subscriptions but you can apply to other ISA providers who do. After an ISA provider receives an application for Additional Permitted Subscriptions they will contact the ISA manager of the deceased to arrange the transfer of the ISA allowance.
If the bond is in the sole name of the deceased and we do not receive withdrawal instructions from the Personal Representative(s) before the end of the term of the bond, we will transfer the funds on maturity of the bond to an Instant Access account. Once the funds are in an Instant Access account the Personal Representatives will be informed as to the published rate of interest for that account.
Administrator: the person to whom Letters of Administration (see below) are granted by the Probate Registry.
Death Certificate: a certified copy of the entry in the Death Register. For a fee, the death registrar will be able to provide you with a number of certified copies to help you save time when you’re dealing with various organisations.
Estate: all the property (money, land or other possessions) owned by the deceased; the sum of the deceased’s assets.
Executor(s): a person (or people) named in the deceased person’s Will as having the power to administer the Estate of the deceased and deal with the instructions in the Will.
Grant of Probate: an official document which confirms that the Executor(s) named in the will are legally entitled to administer the Estate of the deceased. It will only be granted when the inheritance tax on the Estate has been agreed and paid.
Interim Death Certificate: this is issued by the Coroner when there is a coroner’s report and the cause of death still needs to be officially determined.
Intestacy: the situation when a person has died without making a valid Will.
Letters of Administration: an official document issued by the Probate Registry when a person dies without making a Will or the Executor(s) named in a Will are
unable or unwilling to act. This formally names the person who has the legal right to deal with the affairs of the person who has died.
Next of kin: it is the responsibility of the next of kin of the deceased to administer the deceased’s Estate if there is no Will. The next of kin is usually the surviving
spouse or children.
Personal Representative(s): Executor(s) or Administrator(s).
Power of Attorney: a legal process in which a person gives another person – or people – authority to manage their affairs on their behalf.
Probate: the official process of proving that a Will is authentic and valid. A person can also apply to the Probate Court to deal with a deceased person’s Estate when no Will exists.
Probate Registry: a part of the court system that legally appoints a person – or people – to deal with the Estates of a deceased person either under the terms of a valid Will or where the deceased died Intestate.
Third party mandate: an express authority and agreement between a customer and us which allows another person (‘third party’) to deal with the customer’s bank account(s).
Survivorship: when joint owners hold an asset as joint tenants, on the death of one of the joint owners the asset passes to the surviving owner (or owners) automatically, irrespective of the deceased joint owner's Will.
Will: a document signed by the deceased and properly witnessed, specifying what they wanted to happen to their Estate.