Skip to content
Back Back to Insurance menu Go to Insurance
Back Back to Saga Money Go to Saga Money
Back Back to Saga Magazine menu Go to Magazine
Search Magazine

How to tell banks someone has died

Holly Thomas / 18 September 2018 ( 23 March 2020 )

Letting banks and building societies know about a loved one's death is simpler thanks to the Death Notification Service. Here’s how to use it:

woman holding a pen and filling in a form
With just one online form to fill in, this service can ease the burden of admin a little

Bereaved families can now inform all major banks of a loved one's death by completing just one form.

The free online Death Notification Service means grieving families will no longer face having to call multiple banks to inform each individually of a death.

Instead, they will be able to fill in a form online, and select which banks they want to be notified.

In the past banks have come under fire for providing a poor service to those dealing with the deceased's paperwork.

Phone numbers were reportedly tricky to find, and staff didn't know what was needed to fill in the relevant forms. Another common complaint was that each company wanted different paperwork, which made it terribly complicated at what is already a very difficult time for families.

The current process is thankfully much easier.

How does the service work?

The service can be used by anyone, including carers, neighbours, professionals, as well as family members. You start by creating an account on the website click on the 'submit death notification' button and enter their name, address, date of birth and death.

The form asks if you have a death certificate. If so, you enter the reference number to confirm the death is registered. You can also add the date of the funeral, so banks know not to contact you on that day.

You'll need to provide your full name, address, date of birth, relationship to the person who has died and a contact number that can be passed on to the banks. You'll also be asked who is dealing with the estate, so all correspondence goes directly to them.

The last step is to enter details of accounts you know about and pick the banks you want to notify. Account numbers aren’t compulsory, but they will make it easier.

You can then expect to be contacted within 10 days, and will be advised of the next steps in the bereavement process. Under the rules of the service you have three months to update the form if you find more bank accounts at a later date.

And if you need help accessing the service online…

If you have any problems creating an account please contact the Death Notification Service Helpline on 0333 2076574 from the UK, or +44 121 4150965 from overseas. Its opening hours are 08:30-5.30pm, Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays.

Who to inform when someone dies

Which banks and building societies are part of the Death Notification Service?

Among the names signed up are Bank of Scotland, Barclays, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, M&S Bank, Nationwide Building Society, NatWest, Santander and Scottish Widows.

If a bank or firm you need to contact hasn’t signed up to the scheme, you will still need to get in touch with them separately.

The Death Notification Service is similar – but separate to – the Government’s Tell Us Once service, which lets you alert services such as HMRC and the DVLA about a death.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.