We're here to help

Losing someone close to you can be very difficult. In addition to the emotional upheaval of coping with a death, you may also need to take care of financial matters.

We can help at this difficult time by giving you practical help and guidance on the things you need to do. Our dedicated bereavement team is on hand to talk you through how to deal with the deceased's financial affairs.

If the deceased was a Santander customer, please let us know as soon as possible. You can call the bereavement team, visit any branch, write to us or complete the online notification form

Use our online form

Please read our bereavement guide (90 KB) before using our online notification form

Death Notification Service

Santander is a member of the Death Notification Service which allows you to notify a number of banks and building societies at the same time. You can learn more about it in our useful contacts section and in our bereavement guide (90 KB)

There are a number of things that you need to do after losing a loved one. To help you through some of them, we've provided a step-by-step guide under the 'What to do' section.

Call our dedicated bereavement team

You can get in touch with our bereavement team on 0800 587 5870. They'll talk you through how to deal with the financial side of things if the deceased was a Santander customer. If you’re dialling from abroad, please call us on 01908 520814 option 3

We’re open 8am to 6pm Monday-Friday, 9am to 2pm Saturday and closed Sunday. 

Write to us

You can send a letter to:

Santander Bereavement
Operations, Sunderland,
SR43 4FJ

Come into a branch

If you'd prefer, you can visit your local branch. Check branches near you with our branch locator

If you'd like to make an appointment before you come in please phone 0800 587 5870

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

By clicking on the link below you’ll be able to learn more. No cost will be charged for clicking on the link and enquiring about how Irwin Mitchell can help. 

Take a look at Irwin Mitchell’s website to learn more

Your step-by-step guide

Here we've provided a list of the main things you need to do and have when someone dies. For additional information we also have a bereavement guide (90 KB). This offers practical advice and support on what to do when someone dies. Where terms are in bold, this means that we've explained them more in the glossary section. 

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. Obtaining the will

Having the most up-to-date will is important. The will states the wishes of the deceased and names the executors. The executors are the people responsible for carrying out these wishes.

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

3. Arranging the funeral

We understand it may 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.

All we need is the funeral/florist invoice/s together with the original or copy of the death certificate, if not already supplied to us. Once we get this, it can take up to 3 days for us to pay the invoice. 

You can bring these into a branch or send them to our Bereavement Centre (Santander Bereavement Operations, Sunderland SR43 4FJ). We will then send a cheque directly to the funeral director and/or florist. If you post the invoice/s to us, we can make a payment direct into the funeral director's account if you instruct us to do so. To do this, make sure the account details are printed on the funeral director's/florists invoice. Please note, any money we release from the deceased's accounts is  for the funeral director's or florist's bill only. It will not cover any other expenses.

4. Contacting the relevant people

As well as letting family and friends know about your loss, you'll need to inform certain organisations. These might be banks, building societies, National Savings and Investments, utility companies and the Department of Work and Pensions. There are some legal documents, such as passports, driving licences and benefit books, which will need to be found and returned.

You can inform these organisations by phone. They'll tell you if they need any documents, such as a copy of the death certificate. It's helpful to have an account number or reference number if you can find one before calling.

The deceased may have held accounts across multiple different banks and building societies. You may be able to use the Death Notification Service to notify a number of banks at once. You can find more information about this in the ‘useful contacts’ section, or in our Bereavement Guide.

If the customer had any future-dated payments or pre-authorised recurring card transactions (for example a magazine subscription or services) while the account remains open, they could continue to be taken from the account. To avoid this, you could: 

  • make alternative arrangements directly with the provider (for example, updating the card details to make the payments), or 
  • cancel the subscription or agreement with them.
5. Letting us know about the death

If the deceased was a Santander customer, please let us know as soon as possible. You can  complete the online form (Bereavement (, notify us using the Death Notification Service (The Death Notification Service) or call our dedicated bereavement team on 0800 587 5870. You can also write to us at: Santander Bereavement Operations, Sunderland, SR43 4FJ or visit any branch.

You'll need to let us have some paperwork so that we can close or transfer ownership of any accounts.

  • A death certificate (either the original or a copy)
  • Proof of your identification (e.g. a valid passport or driving licence)

If you're coming into a branch, you'll need a personal indemnity form. This confirms you're entitled 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. These can be found in the important documents section.

6. Obtaining grant of probate/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. Dealing with the estate

After someone dies, their estate is shared out according to the instructions given in the will. If there is no will, the intestacy rules must be followed.

If you're the personal representative(s), you can decide whether you want to 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 the personal representative, if you're named in the will as executor or, if there's no will, you're the next of kin in accordance with the intestacy rules.

If the estate is small and probate isn't needed, the personal representative may be able to deal with everything within a few weeks. But if probate is required or if the deceased person owned a property, the process may take longer.

8. Dealing with financial difficulties

Some people may face financial difficulties following the death of a loved one. Find information about how Santander and others may be able to help you on our money worries (Money worries | Santander UK) 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) PO Box 2, Southport, PR8 2JD
The General Register Office (Scotland) New Register House, 3 West Register Street, Edinburgh EH1 3YT
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) (62 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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