We're here to help

Losing someone close to you can be very difficult. Along with the emotional upset of coping with a death, you might also need to take care of the deceased’s money matters.

We can help at this difficult time by giving you practical support and guidance on what you need to do. 

If the deceased was a customer of ours, please tell us as soon as possible. Our bereavement team is on hand to support you through the process.

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Letting us know


Let us know by completing our online form.

You´ll receive a response within 10 working days. 

Call us 

You can call our bereavement team who’ll talk you through the process.

Their lines are open 8am-6pm Monday to Friday, 9am-2pm Saturday and closed Sunday.

UK: 0800 587 5870

Abroad: 01908 520814 (option 3).

Write to us 

You can send a letter to:

Santander Bereavement Operations, Sunderland, SR43 4FJ.

Please include this Bereavement Instruction form (62KB) with your letter.

Visit a branch

If you want to talk to us in person, you can visit your local branch.

Find your nearest branch for opening times.

If a person has passed and you’d like to tell a number of banks and building societies at the same time, you can do this using the Death Notification Service

The Death Notification Service will only tell us of the customer’s passing. You’ll still need to complete an online or postal bereavement form, so we can close or transfer ownership of any accounts. 

Documents you’ll need when contacting us


1. Proof of death

Either the original death certificate, a certified copy or a photocopy. It can also be an interim death certificate or coroner’s certificate

2. Proof of your identity

For example, a valid passport or an unexpired UK/EEA (or Switzerland) photocard driving licence. A copy is acceptable if posting.

3. Grant of Representation

You need this if:

  • The total value of all accounts held with us, in the sole name of the deceased, is more than £50,000.
  • The deceased held a mortgage with us in their sole name. 
  • The deceased held a joint mortgage that was set up as tenants in common.

4. Funeral and florist invoices

If there’s enough money in the deceased’s account, it can be used to pay the funeral director or florist. This can be done before you’ve received grant of representation or probate.

If there’s an outstanding balance on their Santander credit card, unsecured personal loan or current account, we can clear some or all of the outstanding balance before we close the account and release any funds. We’ll need your permission to do this.

Please note: For any remaining balance, details will be passed to our probate partners Philips & Cohen. They’ll usually be in touch within 30 days to discuss if there are any funds in the estate to help repay the outstanding balance.

If you don’t have the above documents yet, you can still tell us that a customer has passed away.

Further guidance

You can find our detailed guidance in this bereavement guide (90 KB).

Get support from Irwin Mitchell

We’ve arranged for our personal customers to benefit from preferential rates with Irwin Mitchell. You can get advice and information on will writing, probate and sorting out someone’s affairs after death, or making a Power of Attorney.

Look at Irwin Mitchell’s website to learn more.

10 things to consider

Here we’ve provided a list of the main things you need to do and have when someone dies. For more information we also have a bereavement guide that offers practical advice and support. Where terms are in bold, this is explained in the bereavement definitions and terms section below. 

1. Registering the death

This should be done at the registry office closest to where possible the death occurred. The registry office will issue you with the death certificate.

2. Dealing with the estate

The will states the wishes of the deceased and usually names one or more executors. An executor is a person who is responsible for carrying out their wishes.

If you can’t find the will, the deceased’s solicitor, bank or financial adviser might have a copy.

If there’s no will, the deceased’s estate is distributed according to intestacy rules. These rules determine how the estate is shared. 

3. Planning a funeral

We understand it might be difficult to pay for the funeral. Check whether the deceased had insurance to cover the costs. If not, and the deceased had funds in their accounts, we can release them to help with the costs.

We’ll need the funeral or florist invoices, confirming the deposit or final amount due, and the original copy of the death certificate. You can bring these into a branch or send them to our Bereavement Centre:
Santander Bereavement Operations,


SR43 4FJ.

Once we get this, it can take up to 5 days for us to pay the invoice.

We’ll then send a cheque or transfer directly to the funeral director and/or florist as instructed. If you post the invoices to us and give permission, we can make a payment direct to the funeral director’s or florist’s account. To do this, make sure the account details are on the funeral director’s or florist’s invoice.

Please note, any money we release from the deceased’s accounts is for the funeral director’s or florist’s bill only. It won’t cover any other expenses. 

4. Contacting the relevant people

Some organisations might need to know about your loss. For example:

  • Banks
  • Building societies
  • National Savings and Investments
  • Utility companies
  • The Department for Work and Pensions.

There are some of the deceased's legal documents that will need to be returned. For example, passports, driving licences and benefit books. You can contact these organisations by phone, and they’ll tell you if they need any documents, or if they have their own process to follow.

The deceased might have had accounts with multiple banks and building societies. You can use the Death Notification Service to tell a number of banks at once. You can find more information about this in the ‘useful contacts’ section, or in our bereavement guide. 

Once we’ve received proof of death, we’ll stop Direct Debits and standing orders. We'll also stop any cheques being paid in and the chequebook will be cancelled.
If the customer had any ongoing payments or recurring card transactions, they might still be taken from the account while it remains open. To avoid this, you could:

  • change the payment directly with the provider
  • cancel the subscription or agreement with them.

5. Letting us know

If the deceased was a Santander customer, please tell us as soon as possible. You can:

  • complete the online form
  • notify us using the Death Notification Service
  • call our bereavement team on 0800 587 5870
  • send a letter to: Santander Bereavement Operations, Sunderland, SR43 4FJ
  • visit one of our branches.

You’ll need some documents so that we can close or transfer ownership of any accounts.

  • the original death certificate
  • your passport or driving license

If you’re sending them in the post, you can send us a copy.
If you’re coming into a branch, you’ll be asked to sign a personal indemnity form. This confirms you’re allowed to give us instructions on behalf of the deceased. You can get one of these forms from any of our branches. 

If the total value of all accounts held with us in the sole name of the deceased is more than £50,000, you’ll need a bereavement instruction form (for postal notifications only) and a Grant of Representation.

6. Getting a grant of probate or confirmation

'Probate' or 'confirmation' refers to the right to manage the affairs of the deceased. For Santander, this is required when the total value of all accounts held with us in the sole name of the deceased is more than £50,000.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, if there's a will, you'll need to apply for a 'grant of probate'

If there's no will, you'll need to apply for a 'grant of letters of administration'

In Scotland, both of the above are referred to as a 'certificate of confirmation'

We refer to these as the 'grant of representation', a generic term that covers all of the above.

Our specialist bereavement team is on hand to help you with all of this. You can call them on 0800 587 5870

7. Obtaining a will

The estate is shared out according to the instructions given in the will. If there’s no will, the intestacy rules are followed. 

If you’re the personal representative, you can deal with the estate by yourself or appoint a professional. A solicitor, bank or specialist probate service can do some or all of the work. 

You’re classed as the personal representative if you’re named in the will as the executor. If there’s no will, you’re the next of kin in accordance with the intestacy rules. 

If probate is required, or if the deceased person owned a home, the process might take a while to sort. 

8. Dealing with money troubles

Some people might face money troubles following the death of a loved one.

To find information on how Santander and others might be able to help you, visit our money worries page. 

9. ISA & subscriptions

We can’t accept funds into an ISA after a customer has died. If subscriptions were paid into an ISA after the date the customer died, these funds will be removed from the ISA into another account in the customer's name. Where no account is held, a new savings account will be opened in their name.

Additional permitted subscriptions allow a surviving spouse or civil partner to receive an inherited ISA allowance

10. Investments

When someone dies and they have certain investment types, there are two options. You can either transfer these into someone else’s name or encash them. 

There are different risks to consider when deciding your approach. In order to make the best choice for you please visit our investment (Personal Investments | How To Invest Online | Santander UK) site before making a decision. If you’re not sure about your next steps, you should speak to an independent financial adviser.

Practical and emotional support

There are many organisations that can help if you've been bereaved. You can find both practical and emotional support, information and guidance.

We've compiled a list of some of them here. They aren’t affiliated to Santander.

Practical support

Tell Us Once

Bereavement Register (to help reduce direct mail being sent to the address of a person who has died)

Government service and advice

Department for Work and Pensions 

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Citizens Advice Bureau

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)

Government Direct (free legal advice on a wide range of topics including what to do if a will has not been made)

Lost Accounts

The General Register Office (England and Wales)

The General Register Office (Scotland) 

Probate Registry (for application for powers to process the Will in England and Wales)

Death Notification Service

  • Allows you to notify a number of participating banks and building societies at the same time.
  • Is online and free to use.
  • Is an additional service to the notification and bereavement services already offered by banks and building societies.

How does it work?

  • This service is notification only. Once the form has been completed, confirmation of receipt will be provided by the Death Notification Service. The relevant banks or building societies are then notified.
  • The banks or building societies will then contact the person dealing with the estate to inform on the next steps. They will be specific to the types of accounts the deceased held with that bank or building society. They will provide key information on what is needed to close the accounts.
  • For more information, such as participating banks and building societies, or to use the service, visit the website Death Notification Service (The Death Notification Service)

Emotional support

Age UK
Cruse Bereavement Care
The Samaritans
Child Bereavement Charity

Santander contacts

You can find specific information on Santander products and useful contacts in our Bereavement Guide (90 KB)

Santander Shares: 0371 3842000

Santander Home Insurance: 0800 0851351

Santander Life Insurance:
(policy started pre 01/07/2011) 0800 1413430
(policy started post 01/07/2011) 03457 413002

Bereavement guide (90 KB)
Practical advice and support on what to do when someone dies.

Bereavement instruction form (telephone) (1.19 MB)
For telephone notifications only.

Bereavement instruction form (post) (270 KB)
For postal notifications and solicitor use.

Customer ID requirements
For telephone and postal notifications, you'll need to send us one item of ID from List 1.

We've compiled a list of some of the words and terms which you may see when you’re dealing with a bereavement. If there are things you don't understand, our trained bereavement specialists are at the end of the phone to help out. Just call 0800 587 5870

Beneficiary: a person who inherits part or all of the estate.

Certified copy: a copy of the original document that has been signed and verified by a solicitor/Santander branch.

Certificate of confirmation: a document giving the authority to administer an estate in Scotland.

Customer representative: generic term for someone who is administering the estate.

Death certificate: the legal document issued by the registry office after a death has been registered.

Estate: all assets belonging to the deceased.

Executor: a person appointed by a will to administer the estate.

Funeral invoice: the bill to pay the funeral director. We need this to be able to release funds from the deceased’s accounts to pay for the funeral.

Grant of letters of administration: a document giving the authority to administer an estate where there is no will.

Grant of probate: a document giving the authority to administer an estate in accordance with the will.

Grant of Representation: a collective term for both the grant of probate and the grant of letters of administration.

Inheritance tax: a tax paid to HMRC on the estate of the deceased.

Intestacy rules: the rules dictating how the deceased’s estate is to be shared when there is no will.

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