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We know how hard it is to deal with the loss of someone. So whatever questions you may have, we’re here to support you through this difficult time in the best way possible.

This page guides you through the steps you need to take when someone dies, including how to notify us and what you need to do in regards to their accounts – this includes the options available to you and what you need to do in order to close their accounts with us.

We appreciate that organising finances might be low on your list of priorities. However, if you’d like someone to personally walk you through the steps you need to take, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call us on 03451 220022 or visit your local branch and we’ll be happy to support you in any way we can.

Registering the death

In England or Wales, the first thing you need to do is to register the death at your nearest register office within five days. In Scotland, you have eight days to do this. At the point of registration, you’ll be directed to the government service Tell Us Once – this enables you to contact various government departments in one go.

Each financial service provider will need an original or certified copy of the death certificate. If a death certificate isn’t available, we’ll accept an original or certified copy of a coroner’s fact of death form as part of the registration process. It's a good idea to buy extra copies of the death certificate at this stage, so that you can send them to banks or building societies for similar registration purposes.

Notifying Kent Reliance

To notify us, you’ll need to provide an original or certified copy of the death certificate or coroner’s report. Once we’ve received this, we’ll update the customer’s record and include the date of death. This will stop any correspondence being sent to the named account holder.

Please note that interest will continue to be accrued until the account is closed.

The next steps will depend on the total balances held with us. These balances will include any unpaid interest that has accrued until the date of their death.

The table below shows the documents that need to be provided in order to close the accounts and distribute the funds accordingly.


Account Ownership  Death Certificate required  
Statutory Declaration  Required 
Grant of Probate Required 
Balances Under £150 
Sole
Balance Over £150 but Under £15,000
Sole
Balances Over £15,000
Sole
Joint account
Joint 

For any joint account, ownership will transfer to the other account holder(s). The account will stay open until we receive a request to close it.

Exceptions

Please let us know if you’ll need to fund any funeral costs from the savings accounts held with Kent Reliance. For this, you’ll need to provide the invoice from the funeral directors, and the funds can be released without needing to complete the Statutory Declaration or having to obtain a Grant of Probate.

You may be liable to an Inheritance Tax charge. Please supply us with the IHT205 form from HMRC, and we’ll arrange for the cheque to be raised. This will be payable to HMRC, and can be released without needing to complete the Statutory Declaration or having to obtain a Grant of Probate.

For balances under £150

If the account balance is below £150 (including unpaid pending interest), it can be closed down without you having to provide any further documents other than the death certificate.

Statutory Declaration

If the total balances of all relevant accounts are below £15,000, you’ll need to provide a completed Statutory Declaration form. This will need to be signed, stamped and authorised by a solicitor or a commissioner for oaths. Most local solicitors will be happy to carry this out for you, subject to a small fee.

Please send this to us along with a completed executor withdrawal form, which must be signed by all named beneficiaries.

If the beneficiary/beneficiaries do not hold an active Kent Reliance account, then proof of identity and address must be verified. We’ll attempt to do this via an electronic check. If this isn’t possible, we’ll need proof of name and address, which can be sent to your local branch or our head office at Reliance House, 85 Sun Wharf, Chatham, ME4 4EZ.

The documents we accept can be found here.

Grant of Probate

What is a Grant of Probate?

A Grant of Probate gives you the authority to administer the estate of someone who has died. This includes tidying up their affairs and distributing their assets to the necessary beneficiaries.

Before you’re able to deal with any assets – such as their bank accounts – you must first obtain legal authority to act in such a way.

This is called a Grant of Probate in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, this is known a Grant of Confirmation.

We’ll require a Grant of Probate where the total balance(s) of all account(s), inclusive of interest, exceeds £15,000.

Steps when applying for probate

You’re able to apply for Grant of Probate by post or on the government’s website. You can either choose to do this yourself or you can enlist the help of a solicitor.

1. Value the estate

The first step is to review papers and bank statements to establish existing assets and liabilities. You’ll also need to find records of any other accounts that are held with other banks or building societies.

For some estates, this is straightforward, but please bear in mind that others are far more complex, with multiple investments, properties and personal belongings to consider.

You may need to contact the following institutions:

  • Banks, in relation to cash assets and accounts
  • Lenders, including for mortgages, credit cards and any loans
  • Fund managers or stockbrokers
  • Pension providers
  • The local government in relation to outstanding council tax
  • The Department of Work and Pensions
  • HMRC in relation to outstanding tax

If the estate includes any property, any assets will need to be valued for probate purposes.

2. Applying for probate

After assessing the size of the estate and what's included, you’ll be in a position to complete an application form.

Once you’ve worked out the details of the estate, the next stage is to complete a probate application form (PA1). This can be downloaded from the HM Courts and Tribunals Service website.

You’ll need to swear an executor’s oath that the details provided are correct. This can be taken to the nearest Probate Registry or a local solicitor’s office. A solicitor will charge a small fee for administering the oath, but using one may be faster than waiting for an appointment at the Registry – where opening hours can be restricted.

3. Probate fees

The probate application fee in England and Wales is currently £215, regardless of the size of the estate. It’s worth noting that the fee is £155 if applied through a solicitor.

4. Probate granted

Once probate has been granted, please arrange to have the necessary documents and executor withdrawal form sent to us. You can also take this to your local branch, where we’ll make copies and return all paperwork to you.

Closure

Once all of the required documents have been received, the account will be closed down, with the remaining funds distributed in line with the preference stated on the executor withdrawal form.

Please note that if there’s been a request that funds are sent directly to the beneficiary’s account held by another provider, their bank details will need to be verified. We’ll attempt to do this electronically; however, if this isn’t possible, we’ll request a recent bank statement or voided cheque to confirm the beneficiary’s details.

Alternatively, a cheque can be made payable to the beneficiary and sent to the address provided on the executor form.

Additional Permitted Subscriptions

If the customer in question was your spouse or civil partner, you’re able to apply for Additional Permitted Subscription (APS). This will allow you to use any additional ISA allowances, thereby equalling the balance of the account holder’s ISA at the date of their death.

Please note that funds held in the ISA will form part of the estate. They will be considered in such a way and distributed in line with the Statutory Declaration or probate instruction.

For further information on how to apply for an APS ISA with Kent Reliance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll be happy to support you.

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