Registering a death

Coping with Bereavement

Losing someone close to you can be overwhelming. As well as the emotional strain you also have to cope with practical matters like finances.

We've designed the sections below to help you with where to start during this difficult time; to help you find the right information so you can register a death and inform the right people.

Registering a death and making funeral arrangements

Registering the Death

Deaths are registered at the local registry office. You may need to make an appointment so it’s best to check before your visit. Once you’ve registered the death you will be given the documentation needed to make funeral arrangements:

  • Certificate of burial or cremation
  • Certificate of registration of death
  • Death certificate (it’s a good idea to request a few official copies of the death certificate as you are likely to be asked for these when dealing with a person’s finances) Most people contact a funeral director to help with the administrative tasks when arranging a funeral, but it is possible to do this yourself if you prefer.

Who deals with the affairs of the deceased?

When a person dies, everything they own is referred to as their estate. An estate may be made up of money held in accounts or owed to the deceased, or held within insurance policies, property, shares and personal possessions.

The estate of the person who has died is usually passed to their surviving relatives, or a person named in a legal document such as a Will. If there is no Will the deceased’s estate must be shared out according to certain rules called Rules of Intestacy. Only married or civil partners and some other relatives can inherit under these rules.

The person dealing with the deceased’s estate is called an Executor, Administrator, or Personal Representative. An Executor is named in the Will; an Administrator is someone who deals with the estate in the absence of a Will, and a Personal Representative is a collective word for either an Executor or an Administrator (please refer to our Glossary for further definitions).

The Personal Representative has the responsibility in administering the deceased’s wishes for their estate. They are usually a relative, friend, solicitor, accountant or representative of a bank.

Applying for the Right to Deal with a Person’s Estate

Once a Personal Representative has been named, they apply for the legal right to deal with the person’s estate, known as a Grant of Probate. You may not need a Grant of Probate if the deceased’s property or accounts are held in joint names and are being passed to the surviving account holder(s).

You may need a Letter of Administration, rather than a Grant of Probate if there is no Will (or the Will is not valid), there are no Executors, or the Executors cannot or are unwilling to act.

If there is no valid Will and you are the next of kin you can apply to be an Administrator in the following order of priority:

  1. Married or civil partner of the deceased
  2. Child
  3. Grandchild
  4. Parent of the deceased
  5. Brother or Sister
  6. Nephew or niece
  7. Another relative of the deceased More information can be found online: and

What does the Personal Representative Do?

  • Sends original or official copies of the death certificate to organisations that hold money of the person who has died
  • Requests details of the balance and interest earned by the deceased in the current tax year up until the date of death. Requests for accounts to be restricted so no one can take money out without the correct legal authority
  • Requests details of any money owed to the estate
  • Prepares and sends off the documents required by the probate registry and HM Revenue and Customs
  • When Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration have been granted, the Personal Representative collects money belonging to the estate from banks, building societies, insurance companies and pension funds
  • Pays outstanding debts
  • Works out if an amount of inheritance tax is due and arranges to pay it
  • Divides the estate as set out in the Will or according to the Rules of Intestacy

What to do about Tax and Benefits?

It is important to ensure that the deceased’s tax, benefits and National Insurance are up to date. There may be tax due, or their estate might be owed some tax back.

Who to inform:

  • Local Tax office
  • Government office that is paying benefits
  • HM Revenue & Customs for inheritance tax

Registering the death of a Member with us - Savings

If you’re the Personal Representative of a Principality Member, you may notify us by either:

  • Visiting your local branch 
  • Email
  • by post to the following address:

Bereavement Team
Principality Buildings
PO Box 89
Queen Street
CF10 1UA

We will need:

  • An official copy of the death certificate
  • A completed copy of our Bereavement Registration Form which is available by visiting our Downloadable Forms page or by calling us

Upon receipt of the death certificate and our Bereavement Registration Form we will record the first named Personal Representative’s address so we can write to you with any future correspondence in dealing with the estate.

Sole accounts
These will remain open and interest will be added to the account until it’s closed. If the deceased’s sole account is a bond, it is important to note that it can be closed early, before maturity with no loss of interest. Alternatively, you can wait until the bond matures, and we will notify you a few weeks prior to the end of the maturity term.

Closing accounts
To release any funds from savings account(s) we need all Personal Representative(s) to complete a Bereavement Request to Close Accounts form.

There are different requirements depending on the combined balance of the account(s) being closed. Please refer to the Bereavement Guide and the Bereavement Request to Close Account form for further details.

All Personal Representatives will need to sign the Bereavement Request to Close Account form and provide two forms of ID (see Your Information for details of ID we will accept). Personal Representatives who are already Members of the Society do not need to provide ID.

Making withdrawals

On occasion you may need to make withdrawals from the account prior to closure. We will allow withdrawals for the purposes of paying Inheritance Tax, Grant of Probate application fees, Funeral expenses and for cost incurred in asking a Solicitors to sign our Bereavement Request to Close Accounts Form.

In order to make these withdrawals, we will need a Personal Representative to complete a Bereavement Withdrawal Request Form. One Personal Representative can complete this form on behalf of other Personal Representative(s). All withdrawal requests will need to be accompanied by relevant invoices/receipts.


If an ISA account holder dies, their spouse or civil partner can inherit the ISA allowance. The value of the inherited allowance (also known as Additional Permitted Subscription or APS) is equivalent to the value of ISA funds the late customer held in their ISA account(s). These could be held with a number of different ISA providers.

Please note:

  • The rules only apply to the transfer of an allowance and not the actual funds held within an ISA.
  • The Additional Permitted Subscription is only available for up to 3 years following the date of death or 6 months after the date that Probate has been granted, whichever is the later. 

Joint Accounts

Once the death has been registered we will remove the name of the deceased from the account and amend the relevant documents.

Registering the death of a Member with us - Mortgages

If you’re the Personal Representative of a Principality Member, you may notify us by either:

  • Visiting your local branch 
  • Email
  • by post to the following address:

Bereavement Team
Principality Buildings
PO Box 89
Queen Street
CF10 1UA

We will need

  • An official copy of the death certificate
  • A completed copy of our Bereavement Registration Form which is available by visiting our Downloadable Forms page or by calling us 

Jointly Owned

There are two different ways of jointly owning property (joint tenants or tenants in common). We will write to you upon receipt of the Bereavement Registration Form to explain the next steps in dealing with a mortgage.

Important information

Please note: Interest will continue to accrue against a mortgages left on a property until it is repaid in full. We can help by suspending payments or charges in some circumstances.

Please let us know:

  • If there are any difficulties in meeting the normal monthly mortgage payments
  • If the mortgaged property is going to be sold
  • If any family members intend on remaining at the property
  • Whether any life insurance policy exists

Explanation of Terms You May Find Useful

Administrator: A person who deals with the estate in the absence of a Will.

Beneficiary: A person who benefits from the estate either under the terms of a Will or by the Rules of Intestacy (if no Will was made).

Estate: Everything owned by a person who has died.

Executor: Someone who is named in the Will as responsible for dealing with the estate.

Grant of Probate: A legal document which gives the Executor the authority to share out the estate in accordance with the deceased’s will.

Intestate: A person who dies without leaving a Will. The Law will decide who inherits if there is no Will.

Letters of Administration: A formal court document issued by The Probate Registry, usually when there is no Will, authorising persons to administer the estate.

Personal Representative: Someone who is responsible for dealing with an estate where (i.e. Executor or Administrator)

Principality. Where home matters.