Dealing with the deceased person’s estate

On a person’s death, a personal representative (called the deceased person’s ‘Executor’ or ‘Administrator’) must deal with their money and property (known as the ‘estate’). They will then arrange to pay the deceased person’s taxes and debts, and distribute his or her money and property to the people entitled to it.

If the deceased person left a valid Will, the individual(s) who deals with the estate is called the deceased person’s ‘Executor’. If the deceased person left an invalid Will or no Will at all, the individual(s) who deals with the deceased person’s estate is called an ‘Administrator’. An Administrator must usually be appointed by the Court before they can deal with the deceased person’s estate.

If you have doubts about these roles, it is recommended you obtain legal advice. Alternatively, you can contact us.





Advice and support - Probate

If the net balance of the estate is greater than £15,000, the legal process often called Probate (known as Confirmation in Scotland) is required in order to deal with the administration of the estate. Many people are unaware of this limit and that Probate is required regardless of whether there is a Will or not. For advice on Probate, please refer to a solicitor. You can find details of solicitors on the Law Society register or you may prefer to choose your own.






Registering the death with us

This can be done either at one of our branches or by post. We will require either:

  • the original death certificate
  • an official Register Office copy
  • a completed Death Certificate Verification form signed by a solicitor
  • an original Foreign Death Certificate (which will need to be translated by a certified translator if it is not in English)
  • an original interim certificate issued by the Coroner’s Office
  • original Grant of Probate
  • Letters of Administration.


If you are posting the document(s), the address to write to is:

the West Brom
Mortgage and Investment Services
Head Office
2 Providence Place
West Bromwich
B70 8AF.


Alternatively, you can visit one of our branches where our staff will help you.





For specific bereavement information, choose a category below:






Savings


Sole accounts (in one name only)

Once we have registered the death we may need additional information from you depending on the total amount of the balances held at the West Brom in the name of the deceased. Please see the table below for further information.


Total balance of the account(s) held Documentation needed Where to obtain the documentation Additional Information
Up to and including £5,000 Statutory Declaration (if probate is not required). We will send this to you once the death has been registered. Alternatively, you can obtain a copy by contacting us or visiting one of our branches. If there is a Will, the Statutory Declaration needs to be completed and signed by the Executor(s). If there is no Will, it must be completed by the next of kin.
£5,001 up to and including £14,999 Statutory Declaration (if probate is not required). As above. In addition to the above,the signatures of the Executor(s) or next of kin need to be witnessed by a solicitor, Commissioner for Oaths or Authorised County Court Official. The witness may charge for this service.
£15,000 and above Original Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. The Probate Service. You may instruct a legal adviser to obtain the Grant of Probate or you may wish to apply to the Probate Service yourself. The legal adviser will charge for this service and a fee will be payable on application for the Grant of Probate.

Please note that we are unable to change the deceased customer’s account into the name(s) of the Executor(s). If the Executor(s) do not have an existing West Brom account they can open a new account with us into which the balance(s) can be paid. This will be subject to account terms and conditions, including verification of the Executor(s) identity.



Release of funds

Before any funds can be released we will require identification from all personal representatives. Please refer to our ‘Important information on identification’ leaflet


Paying for urgent expenses

If you require payment for Funeral Director expenses or for any other expenses, such as flowers or catering, we are able to provide you with a cheque, from the deceased’s account, made payable to the Funeral Director or supplier, on receipt of the invoice. We are also able to pay Inheritance Tax on receipt of a tax demand, which will be paid as instructed by HM Revenue and Customs (as long as there are enough funds in the account). Please visit one of our branches or post the invoice(s) to the Head Office address.


Joint accounts

In accordance with the Society’s General Terms and Conditions, once the death has been registered with us on a joint savings account, the rule of survivorship will apply. This means that the account can continue to be operated in the sole name of the surviving account holder.


Power of Attorney

If a Power of Attorney has been registered on an account, this will cease upon the death of the account holder. Please refer to ‘Dealing with the deceased person’s estate’ section at the top of the page.


Interest and tax

Interest will continue to be paid on the account until it is closed in accordance with the terms and conditions of the product.

For all account((s) any withdrawals or closures after the death of the account holder will be made without any loss of interest (except those that are in joint names and the surviving account holder continues to operate the account).

Please note: Where a customer who holds an ISA dies, their surviving spouse/civil partner is eligible to invest an Additional Permitted Subscription allowance to an APS ISA in their own name in addition to their own personal annual allowance. If you think this affects you and you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Membership

On the death of a sole account holder the account no longer carries membership rights.







Mortgage accounts


Interest will continue to be charged in accordance with the terms and conditions of the product. Mortgage payments will still be required and arrears may arise if payments are missed. If there are any difficulties making payments, please call us.


Sole borrower

Once the death has been registered with us we will require the original Grant of Probate in order for us to note the Executor(s). If the deceased did not leave a Will, we will need to see the Grant of Letters of Administration. The mortgage account will then need to be repaid either from the proceeds of the sale of the property or the proceeds of a life policy.


Joint borrowers

There are two types of joint borrowers, 'Joint Tenants' and 'Tenants in Common':

Useful terms


Executor

This is the individual(s) named in a person’s Will who agree to deal with the estate and, if necessary, obtain a Grant of Probate which enables them to deal with the estate.


Beneficiary

The person who benefits either under the terms of a Will or if no Will exists, through the rules of intestacy.


Administrator

The person who obtains the grant of Letters of Administration which entitles them to deal with the estate if no Will was made.


Personal Representative

The term used for Executor(s) and/or Administrator(s).


Confirmation

The Scottish equivalent to Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.


Grant of Probate

A formal court document issued through the Probate Service confirming the appointment of the executor named in the Will.


Grant of Letters of Administration

A formal court document issued through the Probate Service, to appoint an Administrator, usually the next of kin to the deceased. This is usually issued where there is no Will or the Executor appointed in the Will is unable or unwilling to act.


Commissioner for Oaths

A person appointed by the Lord Chancellor with power to administer oaths or take affidavits. All practising solicitors have these powers but must not use them in proceedings in which they are acting for any of the parties or in which they have an interest.






Useful contacts






Where to find help and advice



As well as the information that is provided on this page, further clarification on dealing with accounts can also be obtained by speaking to your local branch staff, or by contacting us directly.


Advice can also be obtained from a solicitor, but there may be a charge for this service. The Law Society (who represents solicitors in England and Wales) provide a ‘Find a solicitor’ search.