Facing the often sudden death of a family member is difficult enough. Bereaved relatives report that they are now suffering additional stress as they try to settle the deceased’s affairs because of inefficiency on the part of banks, pension companies and utility suppliers. Clearly the Coronavirus outbreak has had an effect on the ability of organisations to handle queries and requests for documentation, as they may be running on limited staff numbers or trying to set up work from home schemes.
On a more helpful note, the Tell us Once service operated by the government allows the public to report a bereavement to multiple government departments in one simple step. Once completed, the Tell Us Once service notifies bodies such as HMRC, the NHS, council tax offices, DVLA, the Passport Agency and the Department for Work & Pensions.
So far 18 banks and building societies (including Barclays, Natwest, Santander and Nationwide) have signed up to a similar free of charge scheme called the Death Notification Service. This will notify any member institution where the deceased person held an account. It is also expected that the first utility companies will sign up to the scheme in the coming months. However, in the case of many privately run businesses such as BT, British Gas or Anglian Water, family members must still contact each organisation separately to inform them of the passing of their loved one.
Campaigners are calling for a single notification service which will inform all organisations and companies where the deceased held an account. Until such a service exists, members of the public are advised to contact:
Bretherton Law have been helping the people of Hertfordshire to manage their affairs for over 50 year, and we have built an enviable reputation for our professional service and honest advice. Our expert team can guide you through the probate process, as well as helping you to draw up a Will, and Lasting Powers of Attorney, and handle Court of Protection or Trust services on your behalf. Contact us on 01727 869293 or use the contact form below.