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What to do when someone dies
What to do when someone dies
We’re here to provide practical help with the things you need to do when someone close to you dies. If you need further guidance, we’ve chosen Simplify , a recognised specialist in this area, as our partner to support the bereaved.
1. Register the death
You must register a death within 5 days in England and Wales, and within 8 in Scotland. You can do this at the registry office closest to where the person died or at your local registry office .
You’ll be issued with a death certificate and most organisations will ask to see this before dealing with the deceased person’s affairs.
The government's Tell Us Once service allows you to arrange the deceased's governmental affairs – from pensions to passports.
2. Notify us
Please let us know as soon as possible.
How to contact us
- By phone on 0345 075 7070
- By visiting your local branch (you may need to make an appointment by calling Customer Services on 0345 7345 345)
- By filling out our online form
- In writing to the following address:
Barclays Service Centre,
We’ll make sure that all relevant departments within the Barclays Group are notified, including Barclaycard, Business and Wealth, and we’ll let you know which documents we need to see and take copies of.
Please also notify us if you shared a joint account with the deceased. We’ll amend the account details and issue new stationery, and the remaining account holder can continue using the account without interruption.
Regular payments, Direct Debits and standing orders on joint accounts won’t be amended or cancelled. If you want to make changes, you'll need to contact the companies and organisations the regular payments are being made to.
3. Obtain the will
You’ll need to find the last known signed and witnessed version of the will – check the deceased person’s home, their solicitor or their bank.
A will contains:
- The last wishes of a person who has died and usually names one or more executor/s who are responsible for carrying out these wishes
- Who they want to inherit their estate and sometimes special instructions about the funeral
If there is no will or it can’t be found, the deceased’s estate is distributed according to the law of intestacy, which determines how it’s divided and shared.
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the laws of intestacy apply and the person who inherits the estate is the next of kin. In Scotland, the Rights of Succession apply.
For more information about wills, read the government’s guide to wills, probate and inheritance .
4. Contact other relevant parties
You’ll need to inform organisations such as building societies, utility companies and the Department of Work and Pensions. There are some legal documents, such as passports, driving licences and benefits books, that need to be located and returned.
You can inform these organisations by phone and it’s helpful to have an account number or reference number before calling. They’ll tell you if they need any documents, such as a certified copy of the death certificate.
We’ve prepared a checklist of people to contact 210 KB that you might find helpful.
5. Deal with the estate
You are a personal representative if you’re named in the will as executor, or named by the laws of intestacy.
You can decide whether you want to deal with the estate yourself or appoint a solicitor, bank or specialist probate service to do some or all of the work.
If the estate is small and probate isn’t required, a personal representative may be able to deal with everything within a few weeks. But if probate is required or the deceased person owned a property, the process may take longer.
For more advice, our bereavement partners at Simplify can help you understand your choices. Visit the Simplify website or call 0800 082 1134.
6. Obtain probate
Probate is a term used when you apply for the right to deal with a deceased person’s affairs. You might also hear it called ‘administering the estate’. In Scotland, a grant of probate is called ‘confirmation’.
Probate may be needed if the deceased person had assets, such as cash, property, or shares, worth more than £5,000, solely in their name. Probate can take up to 6 to 9 months to obtain.
If there isn’t a will, instead of probate, you’ll need a legal document called Letters of Administration.
There are different ways to obtain probate. Here are the 3 options available to you:
- Full professional assistance – provides a full end-to-end estate administration service. These services are typically provided by high-street solicitors or professional estate-administration companies
- Partial assistance – allows you to administer the estate yourself and gain assistance from a professional in completing legal processes, such as extracting the Grant of Probate. This approach gives you overall control of the process, but the more technical areas will be completed by professionals such as solicitors
- Do it yourself – administer the estate completely on your own
What Simplify can do
- Telephone you or visit you at home to give you help and guidance on your options. You can instruct Simplify to arrange this service with Chorus Law , its sister company
- Arrange partial estate administration services through its partner companies
- Help you on its website and via its helpdesk. Also, software, videos and tutorials are available
There will be fees for Simplify’s services, but you're under no obligation to sign up for any of them.