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.