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Bereavement

When grieving for someone, it can be hard to deal with their finances too.

That’s why this guide tries to make the process as straightforward as it can be. So that you can spend more time dealing with what matters most.


Before you contact us

Until we have received the customer’s death certificate, all accounts will remain open. This means that any regular payments, such as direct debits, will continue to go out of the account.

If you have not yet obtained a death certificate or registered the customer’s death, we have some helpful information on what to do when someone dies.

Once we have received the death certificate and confirmed the customer’s passing:

  • Any sole accounts will be frozen until account closure (with the exception of mortgage accounts).
  • Any joint accounts will become sole accounts in the name of the surviving account holder.
  • You may be able to request a 3 month break from mortgage payments (for both sole and jointly held mortgages), once we receive the death certificate. To discuss your options further please call us on 0344 249 8599 (call charges), Monday to Friday 8am-6pm, Saturday 8am-12pm.
  • If the customer had a sole credit card, or was the main card holder on a credit card account, once we have processed their death we will pursue the debt exclusively from their assets.
  • If the customer had a sole loan account, once we have processed their death we will pursue the debt exclusively from their assets.
  • Bonds held by the late customer can be closed or left to mature once we have processed their death.
  • Direct debits and standing orders from any sole accounts they hold will be cancelled.
  • Power of attorney privileges and third party access will cease upon date of death.
    • Please do not delay confirming the customer’s death so as to maintain power of attorney or third party privileges.

If any major bills, such as gas and electricity, are paid from the late customer’s sole account, you will need to make new payment arrangements.

Below, we will show the documents you need to provide to us. However, if you would prefer a member of our customer service team to talk you through this process, you can call our dedicated Bereavement Team.

  • We cannot confirm the customer’s death or begin to process their account until we have received certain documents. Neither of these can be done over the phone.

The documents you’ll need to provide to us

Please answer these questions about the deceased. The information you provide about the customer’s circumstances will determine which documents you’ll need to provide to us.

Where did they live?
  • Where the customer’s estate is based will affect the documents you need to close their account with us.
Did they leave a will?
Is their total estate (including property) worth over £30,000?
Which Co-operative brands did they have accounts or products with?
  • In this instance, smile products are treated the same as Co-operative Bank products.

Documents you will need

If a customer lived outside the UK, laws from that country may apply when dealing with their estate. However, as The Co-operative Bank and Britannia are based in the UK, we may still require UK specific documents - such as Grant of Probate - to close their account.

  • The documents list below assumes the customer had lived in England or Wales when setting up their account.

What you need to do with these documents

How long it will take us to process these documents, and what the best way of getting them to us is, will be affected by the complexity of their estate. Find out how long it will take to process this case by answering a few questions.

We should be able to process simple cases within that same day, if you bring these documents into a Co-operative Bank branch.

If you post the documents to us, we should be able to process them within five working days of receiving them.

  • If you bring documents to a branch for a complex case, we will make copies of them and post them to our Bereavement Team.

When you do have all these documents, you can either bring them into a Co-operative Bank branch or post them to our Bereavement Team at:

Bereavement Team,

Co-operative Bank,

PO BOX 200,

Delf House,

Skelmersdale,

WN8 6YS

Bereavement Team,

Britannia,

Freepost (15796),

Dept CO33,

Leek,

Staffordshire,

ST13 5RG

  • If you are posting these documents to us, we recommend you use a trackable delivery service. These are important documents and we would hate for them to be lost.
  • Once we’ve received your documents, we will aim to have them scanned and sent back out to you within the same day. Original forms of ID and address will be sent via recorded delivery. Other original documents will be sent via 1st Class post.

What will happen when we receive these documents

We will begin to process the case as soon as we receive these documents.

  • Please note, once we have received the relevant documents and confirmed the customer’s passing:
    • Any sole accounts will be frozen until account closure (with the exception of mortgage accounts).
    • Any joint accounts will become sole accounts in the name of the surviving account holder.
    • You may be able to request a 3 month break from mortgage payments (for both sole and jointly held mortgages), once we receive the death certificate. To discuss your options further please call us on 0344 249 8599 (call charges), Monday to Friday 8am-6pm, Saturday 8am-12pm.
    • If the customer had a sole credit card, or was the main card holder on a credit card account, once we have processed their death we will pursue the debt exclusively from their assets.
    • If the customer had a sole loan account, once we have processed their death we will pursue the debt exclusively from their assets.
    • Bonds held by the late customer can be closed or left to mature once we have processed their death.
    • Direct debits and standing orders from any sole accounts they hold will be cancelled.
    • Power of attorney privileges and third party access will cease upon date of death.
      • Please do not delay confirming the customer’s death so as to maintain power of attorney or third party privileges.

If any major bills, such as gas and electricity, are paid from the late customer’s sole account, you will need to make new payment arrangements.

You may require funds to be released to cover the funeral bill or associated costs if the late customer's estate hasn't been settled in time. In these circumstances, providing there are sufficient funds, and that an invoice from the Funeral Director, or a receipt for part of full payment is provided, we will be able to release funds for:

  • The main funeral bill and associated costs
  • Headstones
  • Catering costs for the wake
  • Newspaper announcements
  • Order of service sheets
  • Flowers
  • Grant of Probate / Letters of Administration / Certificate of Confirmation fees
  • Inheritance fees
  • Repatriation of the deceased (if required)

How long will it take us to process the case?

By answering a few questions about the deceased, we can give you an idea of how long it will take for us to process the case.

Does the customer owe any outstanding debts to us?

(This would include any loans, overdrafts, credit cards or mortgage payments.)

  • When someone dies and they have an outstanding debt to the bank, we will pursue the debt exclusively from their assets - and not any next of kin.
Is their total estate (including property) worth over £30,000?
Do they have any of the following products?
  • Britannia ISAs
  • Britannia Trust Accounts
  • Children’s accounts
  • Joint accounts
  • Mortgages
  • Packaged accounts

Due to the potential complexity of this case, it will take us up to 5 working days to process the deceased’s account upon receiving the relevant documents. What documents do I need to provide?

If you bring all the documents into a Co-operative Bank branch, we can begin processing the account on the next working day.

If you post the documents to us, we should be able to process them within five working days of receiving them.

  • If you are posting these documents to us, we recommend you use a trackable delivery service. These are important documents and we would hate for them to be lost.

Once the documents have been processed, actions, such as releasing funds, can then be taken on the late customer’s account.

  • Grant of Probate, Letters of Administration and Certificate of Confirmation can take a long time to obtain. Although we cannot begin processing the late customer’s account until we receive the relevant document, we can freeze their account without it.
  • Please note, these times are only estimations. Each individual account holder’s estate is unique and additional difficulties may arise whilst processing the documents.

If you bring all the relevant documents into a Co-operative Bank branch, we should be able to process the deceased’s account within that same day. What documents do I need to provide?

If you post the documents to us, we should, upon receiving them, be able to process them by the next working day.

  • If you are posting these documents to us, we recommend you use a trackable delivery service. These are important documents and we would hate for them to be lost.
  • Please note, these times are only estimations. Each individual account holder’s estate is unique and additional difficulties may arise whilst processing the documents.

Once the documents have been processed, actions, such as releasing funds, can then be taken on the late customer’s account.

Important documents