Bereavement support

When someone dies, you should use the government website to check everything you need to do.

Find out the steps you should take when someone dies

We can help you deal with someone's estate, if they had an account with us. It is important that you follow the government advice when someone dies, as well as letting their bank know.

Inform us of a bereavement
Get help from our bereavement team
What will happen to my accounts
Request the release of funds to cover costs

How to inform us

If a customer of The Co-operative Bank dies, you need to let us know so you can start to deal with their estate.

Obtain a death certificate

Before we can make changes to a customers account, we need to see their death certificate.

Once the death has been verified and certified you'll need to register the death with the local registrar. The registrar will issue the death certificate.

Order a copy of the certificate

Obtain proof of address and proof of ID for you

We also need to confirm your identity with both proof of ID and proof of address. These should be two separate documents - you can use either original or certified copies.

Acceptable proof of ID and proof of address documents

How to get a certified copy of your ID

Value the estate

The documents you need to send to us might be different depending on the value of the estate.

How to estimate the value of a person's estate

You will also need to obtain the will

This can be the original or certified copy.

OR if more than £30,000 and no will

You will need to be granted a letter of administration

A letter of administration can take a few weeks to obtain. We can freeze an account until this has been granted.

Apply for a letter of administration

Fill in the bereavement instruction form

The bereavement instruction form tells us all the information we need to start processing the bereavement, as well as where any funds should be transferred.

Download bereavement instruction form (PDF)

Book an appointment in branch

Book an appointment to bring all the documents above into a Co-operative Bank branch. We should be able to process simple cases on the same day.

Here are the numbers you'll need to book an appointment.

Branch appointments for Britannia accounts

Call +44 (0)800 132 304 (call charges)

Available Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Saturdays, 9am to 12pm

Branch appointments for Co-operative Bank/smile accounts

Call 03457 212 212 (call charges)

Lines are open 8am - 6pm Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm Saturday and Sunday.

Or post the documents to us

You can post the documents to us, instead of coming into a branch. We will look at the case and contact you as soon as possible.

If possible, use a trackable delivery service. These are important documents that can be difficult and time-consuming to replace.

Send any documents to:

Bereavement Team
Britannia Freepost (15796)
Dept CO33
ST13 5RG

Once we've received your documents, we aim to have them scanned and sent back to you on the same day.

Original forms of ID and proof of address will be sent via recorded delivery.

Other original documents will be sent via 1st Class post.

Speak to our bereavement team

If you need help, our dedicated customer bereavement team can support and guide you through the process. 

If the person who died had both Co-operative Bank/smile and Britannia accounts, use the number for the Britannia team.

Co-operative Bank/smile bereavement team

Call 0345 603 1333 (call charges)

Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Saturday 8am to 12pm


+44 (0)800 132 304 (call charges)

Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Saturday, 8am to 12pm

What will happen to any accounts

We can't make any changes to a customer's account until we have received a death certificate.

Automatic payments (like direct debits or standing orders) will still leave their account until then.

Once we have received the death certificate and confirmed your bereavement, we’ll start the process. This can be different depending on the account type.

Current accounts

Sole current accounts will be frozen until the account is closed. Joint accounts will become sole accounts in the name of the other account holder.

Direct debits and standing orders will be cancelled.

If any major bills, such as gas and electricity, are paid from a sole account, you will need to arrange new payments with the supplier.

Savings and ISAs

A cash ISA will continue to earn tax-free interest until either:

  • the account is closed

  • or on the third anniversary of the account holder’s passing (whichever is sooner).

Any bonds held can either be closed or left to mature.

Loans and credit cards

Any debt remaining on a loan account or credit card account will be taken out of the customer’s assets once we have processed their death.

We will never pursue a customer’s debts from their next of kin.


You may be able to request a 3 month break from mortgage payments (for both sole and joint mortgages), once we receive the death certificate.

Call 0344 249 8599 to discuss your options (call charges)

Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Saturday, 8am to 12pm

Power of Attorney

Power of attorney and third party access ends on the day the person who granted power of attorney dies.

A person given power of attorney doesn't necessarily or automatically become responsible for managing the estate of the deceased. That’s decided by what is set out in the will.

If the deceased didn’t have a will (dying intestate), what happens next depends on a number of factors. These include the marital status of the deceased, the value of their estate and where in the UK they lived.

Request the release of funds to cover costs

If the estate is not settled in time to cover funeral bills or associated costs, we can release funds to pay for: 

  • the main funeral bill and associated costs

  • headstones

  • catering costs for the wake

  • newspaper announcements

  • order of service sheets

  • flowers

  • inheritance fees

  • grant of probate / letters of administration / certificate of confirmation fees

  • repatriation of the deceased (if required).

To release funds, the account would need to have enough funds and an invoice from the funeral director for any of the above.

Not found what you're looking for?

Contact our support team