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
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
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 and they'll be able to talk you through how to deal with the financial side of things if the deceased was a Santander customer. If dialling from abroad, please call us on: 01908 520814 option 3
We’re open 9am to 5pm Monday-Friday, 9am to 1pm Saturday & closed Sunday
Write to us
You can send a letter to:
PO Box 524
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
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 offering 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 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 as it 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 that it may be difficult to pay for the funeral, but if the deceased had funds in their accounts, we can release them to help with costs.
All we need is the original funeral invoice together with the original or copy of the death certificate, if not already supplied to us.
You can bring these into a branch or send them to our Bereavement Centre (Bereavement Centre, PO Box 524, Bradford, BD1 5ZH) and we will send a cheque directly to the funeral director. If you post the invoice to us, we can also make a payment direct into the funeral director's account providing we receive your instruction to do so and the account details are printed on the funeral director's invoice. Please note that any money we release from the deceased's accounts for this purpose is only for the funeral director's bill and 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 organisations such as banks and building societies, 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 and companies by phone and 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 before calling.
If the deceased held accounts across multiple different banks and building societies, you may want 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.
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, notify us using the Death Notification Service, call our dedicated bereavement team on 0800 587 5870, write to us at: Bereavement Centre, PO Box 524, Bradford, BD1 5ZH 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 to confirm 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 £50,000 or more 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 £50,000 or more.
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 yourself or appoint a solicitor, bank or specialist probate service to 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. For information about how Santander and others may be able to help if you have money worries visit our money worries page.
Practical and emotional support
There are many organisations that can help if you've been bereaved. You can find information, support and guidance on both the practical and the emotional.
We've compiled a list of some of them here. They aren’t affiliated to Santander.
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)
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.
- Online and free to use.
- 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 and the relevant banks or building societies 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 and include key information on what is needed to close the accounts.
- You can find out more information, including the participating banks and building societies, and use the service by visiting the website Death Notification Service
You can find specific information on Santander products and useful contacts in our Bereavement Guide
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
Practical advice and support on what to do when someone dies.
Bereavement instruction form (telephone)
For telephone notifications only.
Bereavement instruction form (post) (pdf, 167 KB)
For postal notifications and solicitor use.
Customer ID requirements (pdf, 125 KB)
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 you may see when you’re dealing with a bereavement. Don't forget, if there are things you're having trouble understanding 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.