You may well have heard of the government’s ‘Tell Us Once’ service, which is a way of, as the name suggests, informing one government department of a person’s death and that department notifies chosen government bodies; for example, HMRC or the DWP. The advantage of this is that only one telephone call or online form needs to be submitted following a death (as far as government departments are concerned). It is a straightforward process and next of kin or an executor of an estate can ensure government departments are notified in an efficient manner and it also means that bereaved relatives, already going through a difficult time emotionally, do not have to notify every single government department individually.
The Tell Us Once service only of course applies to government bodies. Until recently, banks and building societies had to all be notified individually. Now, however, with the launch of the Death Notification Service, a new service has been set up so that with the submission of one online form (or telephone call), a number of banks and building societies can be notified of a deceased person’s death. The website is: www.deathnotificationservice.co.uk
The service launched in May 2018 and is ran by UK Finance and Equiniti. The service is free and for the avoidance of any doubt is not to register a death but to notify certain institutions of a death. A death should be registered first before the service is used.
It must be pointed out, however, that not all financial institutions have signed up for the service. So, it is very important to check which institutions the deceased held assets with and whether or not they will be notified via the service. Insurance companies, share registrars, National Savings and some banks and building societies, for example, would all need to be notified individually. Only institutions subscribed to the service would be notified. These institutions may, of course, change in due course.
For further information, please visit the Death Notification Service website which also has a list of useful contacts.
This article was written on 24 September 2018 and the law may change following this date.
Richard Tinkler is an Associate Solicitor based at the Helliwell House office in Wroxham.
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