Supporting you through bereavement

Losing someone is distressing and when it comes to sorting out their financial affairs, we understand it can be difficult to know where to start.

To make things as simple as possible for you, this guide will help explain what we’ll need when one of our customers has passed away, and set out the processes we’ll need to follow.

We’ll use some legal terms that you may not be familiar with, so we’ve included a glossary to help you understand them.

Our Bereavement Support Team are also happy to explain anything that you don’t understand.

Coping with your loss financially

The loss of a loved one can have a significant impact on your financial future. If you feel you need support, we’re happy to speak to you about your finances and how to manage them in the days ahead. Please get in touch on 0345 600 2882.

Letting us know

Although you don’t have to, you may wish to ask a solicitor to handle the financial side on your behalf. If so, then they will look after this for you. Otherwise, to tell us one of our customers has passed away, please:

  • phone us on 0345 600 2882 (lines are open Mon – Fri 8am – 8pm. Sat and Sun 9am – 5pm);
  • call into any of our branches;
  • write to us at:
    Bereavement Support Team
    Danske Bank
    Killeaton House
    41 Mosside Road
    Belfast
    BT17 9HH;

What we’ll need

Please tell us:

  • their name, address and date of birth;
  • the date that they passed away;
  • the contact details of who will be looking after their estate. This may be the next of kin, a solicitor or, if there’s a Will, an Executor.

Don’t worry if:

  • you don’t know the account details of the person who’s passed away.
  • you don’t have the death certificate when you first contact us, you can give it to us at a later stage.

What happens next?

The next steps will depend on your circumstances, however one of our dedicated team will guide you through the process.

Dealing with the estate

Payment of urgent expenses

Funeral costs - If the person who has passed away has an account in their sole name, we may be able to release money under what’s called a Small Estates Indemnity which can be dealt with at any of our branches. We may also be able to make a part payment if there isn’t enough money to settle the full bill.

We can release funds to help pay undertaker fees but regrettably we can’t settle bills for the wake, refreshments, headstone or masonry work in the same way.

What happens to the bank accounts?

  • Current accounts and savings accounts

    Sole accounts – We’ll need to suspend the account while we sort out the legalities; this means Direct Debits being paid from the account will be affected; we can talk through which payments are affected, and provide support on how you can make alternative arrangements.

    This means you might need to find another way to pay any ongoing bills. In particular, if there is a Direct Debit for house insurance please check with the insurance company that the house will remain insured until the estate is dealt with.

    ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts) – if you’re the spouse or civil partner of the person who has died you may be entitled to an additional ISA allowance. If so, we’ll write to you and let you know what to do.

    Joint accounts – Joint accounts without overdraft facilities will usually be amended into the names of the remaining parties to the account and they’ll get new chequebooks and lodgement books reflecting this. All Direct Debits and standing orders will continue as normal but, if you’d like any of them cancelled, you can do this through eBanking or by contacting your local branch. If an account is held in joint names and there is an overdraft facility, the account will remain in joint names. Where this is the case please contact your Branch to discuss your overdraft facility.

  • Loan, mortgage and credit card accounts

    In these cases, what happens depends on individual circumstances, so please get in touch and we’ll explain the next steps.

  • Business accounts

    The type of business account and the nature of the business will dictate the next steps. Please get in touch and we’ll explain the next steps.

Help and information

Glossary

Term Definition
Administrator The person or people who obtains Letters of Administration to deal with the deceased’s estate when there is no Will.
Assets Any property, money or possessions that belonged to the deceased person.
Death Certificate or Coroners Certificate A legal document confirming a person’s death.
Estate The total value of everything owned by the deceased at the date of death such as money, property and possessions.
Executor A person or people named in the Will whose responsibility is to carry out the deceased’s wishes.
Grant of Probate This legal document authorises the executors to deal with the estate and fulfil the deceased’s wishes, as outlined in their Will.
HMRC Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, sometimes known as the Inland Revenue or, informally, the ‘tax man’.
Inheritance tax The tax that must be paid from the estate to HMRC when the value of the estate exceeds a certain amount.
Intestate A person who dies without having made a legal Will.
Letters of Administration If a valid Will doesn’t exist, this legal document authorises the administrators to deal with the deceased’s property and financial affairs.
Next of kin

The next of kin is the closest relative. The ranking order is:

  1. Spouse or civil partner
  2. Children
  3. Grandchildren
  4. Parents
  5. Brothers and sisters
  6. Aunts and uncles (if they’re blood relatives)
  7. Cousins
Personal representative The person responsible for dealing with the estate - the executor, administrator or next of kin.
Small Estates Indemnity A form that may be used by us to release money if the deceased held a total amount below £25,000.
Will A legal document that outlines what you want to happen to your assets when you die.