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How to access the bank account of a deceased person

Published 23 February 2017 by

The loss of a loved one is never easy and the practical tasks that you need to carry out around this time probably aren’t what you need when you’re grieving. These can include registering the death, arranging a funeral and dealing with the finances of your late friend or relative.

Their finances or 'estate' might include any money, possessions or property. To help you gain access to the bank account of a deceased person, we're taking you through the process and what to do if they held a thinkmoney account.

Whose responsibility is it?

An 'executor' is the person who deals with the deceased's estate if they left a valid will. This can be the person's next of kin. If the person dies without making a will, an 'administrator' will handle their finances. A court can appoint this person. 

The executor or administrator is the person authorised to access the deceased person's assets and distribute them. You might need to apply for a ‘grant of representation' known as a probate to prove that you are the executor or administrator.

What happens next?

Contact the bank, building society or alternative provider like thinkmoney to tell them that someone has passed away. You will need to provide the organisation with evidence such as a copy of the death certificate.

If the person held a thinkmoney Personal Account, please give us a call on 0161 871 4874. As soon as you let us know, we'll stop all activity on their account immediately. This is common practice for most organisations.

We will send a bereavement pack out to you if you're the next of kin, which you'll need to fill in. If you're not the next of kin, we'll ask you for their details so we can send the pack directly to them.

In the bereavement pack, you'll find information on what documents you need to send to us. It will also include a bereavement form and a prepaid envelope. The documents can include the following.

• The original Death Certificate, Fact of Death or Coroner's Certificate.

• The will to confirm who is entitled to deal with the estate.

• If there's no will, a Grant of Probate to confirm who the executor of the estate is.

• Proof of the next of kin's identity and address.

If you're the next of kin, you'll need to make sure that all documents are original and at least one piece of ID contains your full name.

What if I had a joint account with the deceased?

Things can be simpler if you and the deceased person held a joint bank account together. This is because the account will continue to run as normal and the money will automatically belong to you.

For most organisations, you will simply need to provide the death certificate to remove the deceased person from the account. This is the same if you held a joint thinkmoney Personal Account with the deceased.

We'll need the next of kin or joint account holder to send this to us and will send confirmation once the account is in their name only. Until this process is complete, you might still receive correspondence such as letters with both account holders' names on it – so please be aware of this.

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