Even though it can be a very difficult time, there are important financial arrangements you'll need to think about when someone close to you passes away.
And remember, we're here to help, whenever you need us.
In the first few days
It's important to start the following tasks as soon as you're ready to.
- Get the medical certificate – you’ll need this to register the death
- Register the death within 5 days – from this, you’ll get the documents you need to arrange the funeral
- Make funeral arrangements
- Let government organisations know. Most local councils have a 'tell us once' service, so you don't have to contact lots of different departments. Your registrar should be able to give you details when you register the death
- Notify banks and financial organisations such as insurers
If the deceased had a pension or savings with us, please call 0800 015 1142. We have a dedicated, UK-based team who’ll be able to help you.
If you're dealing with the estate
When someone dies, all they own is referred to as their estate. Somebody has to manage the estate, passing on any property, money and investments to relatives, friends or organisations and paying off any debts.
If the deceased left a will, this should tell you who receives what. If there’s no will, the rules of intestacy will apply.
You can find out more about this process by visiting the Wills, probate and inheritance section of the gov.uk website.
If you inherit some money
It may be hard to think clearly following a loved one’s death, so you should take some time to think about how you can best use any inherited money.
The first call on any amount you inherit might be paying off debts or contributing to long-standing financial commitments such as a mortgage.
Passing on an inheritance to someone else
If you inherit money at a stage in life when your children, or even grandchildren, have more urgent financial needs than you, it may be possible to pass the inheritance directly on to them.
You can do this through a document called a deed of variation. If you're considering this, you should bear in mind that an inheritance can normally be changed only within 2 years of the person's death.
It’s a good idea to employ a solicitor to help with this. And because there are potential tax implications, it’s worth thinking about talking to a financial adviser. Our financial advice page has more information.
What about tax?
There are 3 different taxes you need to think about when you inherit money:
- Inheritance tax. This is only due if the taxable estate is worth more than £325,000 for an individual, or up to £650,000 for a married couple or registered civil partners. Tax is charged at 40% on anything above the £325,000 threshold and is usually paid out by the estate of the person who has left the money
- Income tax. You may have to pay income tax if you're going to receive an income on any assets you inherit. This might include interest earned on money, dividends on shares or rental income from letting a property
- Capital Gains Tax. You may have to pay capital gains tax if the assets you inherit increase in value between the date of the deceased person's death and the date you sell the assets