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Sainsbury's Bank

Bereavement Support

How we can help and support you

We understand it’s a difficult time when you lose someone close to you, so we want to make dealing with any financial matters as simple as possible.

On this page you'll find:

What to do first

When someone passes away, there are decisions to be made that can feel overwhelming. The following information explains the steps you need to take.

1. Obtain a Medical Certificate

When someone dies, a doctor involved in their care completes a medical certificate of cause of death (MCCD), which you’ll need to register the death. If the death does not require investigation by the Coroner, then the doctor can issue the medical certificate.

If a post-mortem examination is required to determine the cause of death, this will be carried out and the relevant documents will then be passed to the registrar.

2. Register the death

If you can, go to the registry office in the area where the person died. Doing this means you’ll usually get the documents you need quicker.

These will include:

  • A certificate for burial or cremation

  • A certificate of registration of death

  • The Death Certificate, which will be a copy of the entry in the register

Some organisations will ask to see the original Death Certificate, so it's a good idea to get several certified copies. They can then be provided to any organisations that require a copy, otherwise you could be waiting for your copy to be returned. Click here to see about certified copies opens in new window.

A death needs to be registered within five days in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and within eight days in Scotland. The links below have useful information on how you can register the death at your local Registry Office.

Find a register office - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) opens in new window – England and Wales
https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/contacts/general-register-office-northern-ireland opens in new window – Northern Ireland
Registration | National Records of Scotland (nrscotland.gov.uk) opens in new window – Scotland

3. Arrange the funeral

In some cases, the government can help with funeral costs – you can check Get help with funeral costs (Funeral Expenses Payment) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) opens in new window for eligibility.

Funerals can be expensive, so unless there's a prepaid funeral plan, you should check there’s enough money to pay for it before you make any arrangements.

  • If the deceased had accounts with Sainsbury’s Bank, and they hold enough money, we can send a payment to the funeral director to pay for the funeral and all associated expenses. To release money, we need to see original or certified copies of the invoices. If the deceased had accounts with other banks or financial institutions, you could approach them to help with the funeral costs.

  • If the deceased was employed, a 'death in service' payment may be available from their employer and payments may also be available from a benevolent fund or pension scheme. The employer's Human Resource department should be able to advise the next of kin or Executor(s) if this is the case.

  • If you're the surviving party/spouse and claiming benefits, you may be able to get help with the funeral costs. Check with your Jobcentre Plus office as soon as possible as this will make it easier to plan the funeral.

4. Find out if there’s a Will

If there’s a Will, it will name one or more people as personal representatives (also known as ‘Executors’) who will be responsible for carrying out the deceased’s wishes. It’s an important document as it contains the last wishes of the deceased. If you can't find a Will at their home, it's a good idea to ask their solicitor, bank, or financial advisor if they're holding it for safekeeping. If so, you'll need to establish whether the Will they hold is the last known version.

If someone dies without making a Will, it's known as 'dying intestate’. In this case the law on who will inherit the Estate varies depending on where the deceased lived and, in some circumstances, their religion. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the Laws of Intestacy apply and the person who will inherit the Estate is the next of kin – usually their husband, wife, civil partner, or their child/children. In Scotland, different rules apply – to find out more visit www.gov.scot opens in new window. The next of kin usually becomes the administrator of any possessions, money, or property they leave behind, often referred to as ‘the Estate’.

If Sainsbury’s Bank has been appointed as an Executor by the person who has died, please let us know as soon as possible, by calling
08085 40 50 60.

5. Telling us

By Phone

If you’d like to speak to someone you can call us on:

08085 40 50 60 or +44 131 40 50 60 if calling from abroad.

Our lines are open – Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday 8am to 6pm.

When you call us, please make sure, you have any details for the account holder ready to hand, along with the Death Certificate reference number.

Documents required for Personal Representatives

  • We require one piece of identification together with a bank statement dated within 3 months, this should be for the account where we’ll send any credit balances to. We’ll need this before we release any funds.

  • If the funds are being paid to an existing Sainsbury’s Bank account, then we only require one piece of identification.

  • We only need these documents for the personal representative of the deceased if they don’t already have an existing relationship with Sainsbury’s Bank.

  • They must either be an original document or a certified copy of the original. Our acceptable documents list can be found here opens in new window.

If the Estate is being handled by a solicitor there may some differences to this process.

As the personal representative /notifier we’ll ask you some simple questions to capture the information that we need. The person who has passed away may have accounts or products you didn’t know about. These could be Savings Accounts, Credit Cards, Argos Cards, Loans, Mortgages, and Insurance products. We’ll ensure that if the deceased held other products with Sainsbury’s Bank, then we’ll let them know with one phone call.

Write to us

You can write to us at:

Sainsbury’s Bank,
PO Box 4955,
Worthing,
BN11 9ZA

If you write to us, please include the account holders’ account details and Death Certificate reference number on any correspondence. We only need to see the Death Certificate if the death happened overseas, please send us the original or a certified copy of one of the following:

  • Death Certificate

  • Death Certificate verification form

  • Extract of the Death Certificate

  • If a Death Certificate isn’t available, please send us the Coroners Certificate of the fact of death

Documents required for Personal Representatives

  • We require one piece of identification together with a bank statement dated within 3 months, this should be for the account where we’ll send any credit balances to. We’ll need this before we release any funds.

  • If the funds are being paid to an existing Sainsbury’s Bank account, then we only require one piece of identification.

  • We only need these documents for the personal representative of the deceased if they don’t already have an existing relationship with Sainsbury’s Bank.

  • They must either be an original document or a certified copy of the original. Our acceptable documents list can be found here opens in new window.

If the Estate is being handled by a Solicitor there may some differences to this process.

As the personal representative /notifier we’ll ask you some simple questions to capture the information that we need. The person who has passed away may have accounts or products you didn’t know about. These could be Savings Accounts, Credit Cards, Argos Cards, Loans, Mortgages, and Insurance Products. We’ll ensure that if the deceased held other Products with Sainsbury’s, then we’ll let them know with one phone call.

What’s a certified copy?

A certified copy is a photocopy of the original document which has been signed, stamped, and dated by an independent professional (for example a doctor, solicitor, notary, accountant, independent financial advisor, or post office/bank branch official). Click here to see our full list of approved certifiers opens in new window.

6. Telling others

You might need to tell other organisations about the person’s death, such as other banks or building societies, utility companies, etc.

The UK Death Notification Service (DNS) (www.deathnotificationservice.co.uk opens in new window) is a free service which allows you to tell multiple financial companies with one notification, providing they subscribe to this service.

If you're not sure which banks or building societies the deceased held accounts with you can check mylostaccount.org.uk opens in new window. This is a free service and can be a useful help track down a complete list.

The Government’s Tell us once opens in new window service allows you to complete a single online form to tell the various Government departments. These include:

  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) – to deal with tax and cancel benefits

  • Passport Office – to cancel a British passport

  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) – to cancel a driving licence

  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – to cancel benefits, such as Income Support

  • Local council – to cancel Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, a Blue Badge, inform council housing services and remove the person from the electoral register

  • Public sector or armed forces pension schemes – to stop pension payments

For TV, phone, and broadband subscriptions, you’ll need to contact the provider to see if you can cancel any outstanding payments, or to transfer the contract to your name.

7. Deal with the Estate

The personal representative(s) hold the legal responsibility of dealing with the deceased affairs.

If there’s a Will, you might need to apply for a Grant of Probate, which is a legal document giving you the authority to deal with a deceased person’s affairs.

If there isn’t a Will, the legal document is called Letters of Administration.

In Scotland, in either case, the document is called a Certificate of Confirmation. We’ll let you know if we need any of these documents.

If you're a personal representative and feel you can't deal with this yourself, you can ask a solicitor to take care of some or all of it for you. Solicitors will charge a fee for this service so make sure you understand and agree before deciding.

If you want to deal with the administration yourself, you can find more information on Probate at: Applying for probate - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk opens in new window)

 

Bereavement – additional information

We understand you may need additional information, so we’ve compiled some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), a Glossary and links to other websites which offer Financial or Emotional support during this difficult time.

Whilst we provide links to access non-Sainsbury’s Bank websites, we don’t control their content, which may change over time, and therefore accept no liability for your use of them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

What ID does a personal representative need to access funds or close an account?

  • We require one piece of identification together with a bank statement dated within 3 months, this should be for the account where we’ll send any credit balances to. We’ll need this before we release any funds.

  • If the funds are being paid to an existing Sainsbury’s Bank account, then we only require one piece of identification.

  • These documents are required for the personal representative of the deceased if they don’t already have an existing relationship with Sainsbury’s Bank.

  • They must either be an original document or a certified copy of the original. Our acceptable documents list can be found here opens in new window.

If the Estate is being handled by a solicitor there may some differences to this process.

What's a certified copy?

A certified copy is a photocopy of the original document which has been signed, stamped, and dated by an independent professional (for example a doctor, solicitor, notary, accountant, independent financial advisor, or post office/bank branch official). Click here to see our full list of approved certifiers opens in new window.

What will happen to the account(s)?

  • If there are any accounts which need to be closed, we’ll aim to make this as easy as possible for you.

If it’s a single account, we’ll add a restriction to the account to stop any money going in or out. If it’s a joint account:

  • We won’t add any restrictions and when we receive the Death Certificate / certificate reference number this will become a single account.

  • As soon as we’ve been told, we’ll turn off any marketing correspondence. As some of our marketing may already have been created it could take up to 8 weeks for this to stop completely. If the account is shared, the second customer’s marketing preferences will stay the same.

  • When we receive the Death Certificate reference number (or one of the variations - Death Certificate, Death Certificate verification form, Extract of the Death Certificate or Coroner’s Certificate of the fact of death), we’ll send you a letter confirming the balance of the account(s) and the interest accrued. We’ll let you know if we need to see any further documents for a single account before we can close it. For example, we may ask you to complete a Statutory Declaration or send us a Grant of Probate/Certificate of Confirmation.

What is a Statutory Declaration?

  • We’ll ask you to complete this form if the total balance of the account(s) is between £0.01 and £14,999. There’s a section to complete with bank details of where the money is to be sent. We also need to see the Statutory Declaration / Indemnity Form signed by all the representatives of the Estate.

  • For balances between £15,000 and £24,999 the form needs to be signed and declared before a solicitor, Commissioner for Oaths, Justice of the Peace or Notary Public. If we’ve not been advised that a Grant of Probate is being requested, we can close the account when you return the completed Statutory Declaration.

  • Balances over £25,000 we need to see the original or a certified copy of the Grant of Probate/Certificate of Confirmation document/Letters of Administration.

What is a Grant of Probate/Certificate of Confirmation?

  • This is a legal document and is an Executor’s legal authority to deal with all the assets of the Estate. Probate is granted by the Registries in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and Confirmation is granted by the Sheriff Courts in Scotland.

  • This document will confirm the Executor of the Estate and who has been authorised to deal with the funds in the account.

  • We need to see the original or a certified copy of the Grant of Probate/Certificate of Confirmation together with a letter that has been signed by the Executors named on the legal document. This letter must advise us where the money is to be sent.

  • Regardless of the balance, if we’re made aware that the Executor/Personal Representative is applying for Probate/Confirmation, we must see the original or certified copy of the Grant of Probate/Certificate of Confirmation before we can continue with the closure of the account. When we’ve got everything, we need, we’ll close the account.

What happens if there’s money owed on any of the accounts?

  • We’ll contact our bereavement partner, Philips & Cohen (PCA), who support us in resolving any outstanding balances due on the accounts.

  • It’s the Estate that’s responsible for paying the debt – if there’s no money available, the personal representative / Executor won’t be asked to cover what’s owed by the person who passed away.

Who are Phillips & Cohen?

What is Right of Set Off?

  • After we’ve confirmed the death, we will need to check what accounts the customer held with us and the deceased’s situation.

  • We will contact the representative to inform them about Right of Set Off if applicable.

What if the deceased had an ISA?

There is an option for the surviving spouse/civil partner to claim the value of the deceased parties ISA. This is referred to as an Additional Permitted Subscription Allowance (APS).

How do I claim an APS – Additional Permitted Subscription Allowance?

Key information:

  • The APS allows the surviving spouse/civil partner to deposit funds into their own Cash ISA account. This means the ISA benefits of the deceased’s ISA isn’t lost if you make use of the APS allowance.

  • The claim is the closing balance held in the deceased’s Cash ISA(s). This value is an addition to the spouse’s/civil partner’s own subscription limit.

  • The surviving spouse/civil partner may subscribe their APS allowance with either Sainsbury’s Bank or another financial institution, providing they accept APS transfers.

  • Before we can begin an APS transfer, the Cash ISA held by the deceased must be closed first and funds paid to a nominated account as we can't pay funds using APS directly to a Cash ISA.

  • All APS transfers to Sainsbury’s Bank must be paid by cheque(s).

  • As these ISA funds form part of the Estate the balance must be paid to the Executors of the Estate before an APS can be claimed.

  • HMRC guidelines state that the claim can only be made once.

  • There are restrictions in eligibility for claiming an APS; for example, the deceased and the surviving spouse/civil partner must not have been separated at the date of death.

  • You’re not restricted to using the APS allowance in the same type of ISA the deceased customer held.

Further details on transferring to other banks or financial institutions and eligible ISA products can be found at www.gov.uk opens in new window.

What is Inheritance Tax?

Inheritance Tax is a tax on the Estate (the property, money, and possessions) of someone who’s died.

When do I pay Inheritance Tax?

You don’t normally need to pay Inheritance Tax if the Estate’s value is below the £325,000 threshold, but you’ll still need to report it to HMRC.

The deceased had a Sainsbury’s Bank Credit Card - what happens to the Credit Card?

If the deceased was the additional Cardholder, then we’ll update our records, and the account will continue.

The deceased had a Sainsbury’s Bank Loan - what happens to the Loan?

  • The surviving account holder may wish to repay the Loan in full, repay it with proceeds from the Estate or to keep the Loan in their sole name.

  • If the surviving account holder wants to repay the full balance, we’ll provide a settlement figure and the account details to pay the Loan off.

  • If the surviving account holder wishes to keep the Loan account open, we can remove the deceased party from the account and all future correspondence / statements will be sent to their name only.

  • If you’re worried about making the repayments on the Loan, please call us on 08085 40 50 60.

Any balances outstanding can be repaid from the Estate.

The deceased had a Sainsburys Bank Mortgage

  • If the Mortgage was in the deceased’s name only it might be possible to pay it off using the proceeds of the Estate or an insurance policy. If that’s not possible we need to know what you intend to do with the property.

  • For joint Mortgages, if the Mortgage can’t be paid off by an insurance policy, we can change the account to the name of the surviving party providing specific criteria can be met.

  • The surviving party becomes responsible for continuing to make the repayments on the mortgage and to clear the mortgage balance. For Sainsbury’s Bank Mortgages please call 0345 111 8020.

The deceased had a Sainsbury’s Bank Insurance Product - what happens now?

The deceased had an Argos Card - what happens now?

 

Information and Advice

Financial Information and Advice

Death and bereavement - www.gov.uk/browse/births-deaths-marriages/death opens in new window

Tell Us Once What to do after someone dies: Tell Us Once - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) opens in new window
Tell Us Once is a service that lets you report a death to most government organisations in one go.

The Probate Service - Applying for probate - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) opens in new window
For guidance specifically on dealing with probate and inheritance tax - and a good source for downloading documents.

The General Register Office - General Register Office - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) opens in new window
The General Register Office holds records of births, deaths, marriages, civil partnerships, stillbirths and adoptions in England and Wales.

The General Register Office – Northern Ireland - General Register Office for Northern Ireland - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) opens in new window
The General Register Office for Northern Ireland holds records of births, deaths, marriages, civil partnerships, stillbirths, and adoptions in Northern Ireland.

The National Records of Scotland - National Records of Scotland - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) opens in new window
The National Records of Scotland store records of births, deaths, marriages, civil partnerships, divorces, stillbirths - they’re also responsible for the Scottish national archives, which contain government documents and public records.

HM Revenue & Customs Welcome to GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) opens in new window
The best place to find Government Services and Information

The National Will Register - Certainty - The National Will Register opens in new window
Certainty Will Search and Will Registration is exclusively recommended by key organisations and used by thousands of solicitors, the public, charities and financial institutions to register Wills and search for Wills.

The Money Advice Service - www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en opens in new window
The Money Advice Services offers free and impartial advice to help you manage your money and make the most of your finances

Citizens Advice Bureau www.citizensadvice.org.uk opens in new window
Citizens Advice offers free legal information and impartial advice on a variety of topics, including contacts for counselling

Emotional Information and Advice

Cruse Bereavement Care - www.cruse.org.uk opens in new window
Cruse provide specialist bereavement experts that can offer support in coping with grief following the death of someone close.

Facing Bereavement – www.facingbereavement.co.uk opens in new window
Provides expert guidance and advice on how to get through bereavement and how to look to the future.

Mind - www.mind.org.uk opens in new window
Provides information on bereavement, where to go for support, and suggestions for helping yourself and others through grief.

Samaritans - www.samaritans.org opens in new window
The Samaritans provide support for anyone who’s struggling to cope, or who needs someone to listen without judgement or pressure.

 

Glossary

Administrator
The person appointed to manage an Estate when there isn’t a Will, or when the Executor is unable, or unwilling, to act. The administrator can also be referred to as the deceased's personal representative. This person is normally a family member or close friend of the deceased.

Beneficiary
A person who’s entitled to receive money or property from a Will or intestacy.
A person entitled to receive funds or property under a Will or intestacy

Confirmation of the Estate
In Scotland, this is the legal document obtained from the court after a death. It’s the equivalent to the Grant of Probate obtained in England and Wales.

Death Certificate
The Death Certificate is a legal document issued by the Registrar when a person dies. It’s a copy of the signed entry in the death register, and confirms the date, cause, and location of death.

Estate
This is the total value of everything an individual owns, such as money, property and possessions, and everything that’s registered in their name, less any debts.

Executor
This is the person named in a Will, who carries out the wishes outlined in that Will.

Grant of Probate (GOP)
This is an official document that confirms the Will is valid together with the names of the Executors who are legally entitled to administer the Estate and to follow its wishes.

Inheritance Tax
The tax paid to HMRC on the deceased’s Estate when the value of the estate exceeds a certain amount.

Intestacy
This term is used when someone dies without making a valid Will.

Legacy
A specific gift or monetary gift made in a Will.

Letters of Administration / Grant of Letters of Administration
An official court document that proves you have the authority to deal with the deceased’s Estate. This allows the personal representative the right to manage the Estate when there’s no Will.

Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD)
When someone dies, a doctor involved in their care completes a medical certificate of cause of death. It details the cause of death and you need it to register the death. The Death Certificate will be given to you after the death has been registered.

Next of Kin (NOK)
This is normally the surviving spouse or children.
If there's no Will, it's the responsibility of the next of kin to administer and distribute the deceased's Estate according to the laws of intestacy.

Personal Representative
The person responsible for dealing with the Estate of someone who’s died, either the Executor, administrator or the next of kin.

Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document where someone appoints a person to act on their behalf or represent them to plan for the future. It's drawn up when you have the capacity to do so.
It gives another person, known as the attorney, the authority to deal with aspects of your affairs. This could relate to financial/property matters and/or personal welfare.
There are different types of power of attorney, and they differ between England and Wales and Northern Ireland and Scotland, so you need to be aware of that.

Probate
This refers to the legal right to deal with a deceased person’s affairs. It’s sometimes called ‘administering the Estate’.

Probate Registry
The name of the public body responsible for issuing grants of probate and grants of letters of administration. There are local District Probate Registries around the UK.

Trustee
An individual given control or powers of administration of property in trust with a legal obligation to administer it solely for the purposes specified.

Will
A legally binding document signed by a person, which states what they would like to happen to their assets/Estate when they die. This may also contain wishes about their funeral or who they want to look after any young children they may leave behind.