Do I need to close the account if it’s in joint names?
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When a bank account is held in joint names, you probably won't need to have it closed.  By the principles of the survivorship, it will just pass into the name of the joint account holders name.
What is a Grant of Probate?
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This is the document that verifies who is legally permitted to deal with someone's property, money and possessions (their 'estate') when someone dies. Please also see 'Wills and Probate' on our Guides and Advise pages for more helpful information.
What is a Grant of Representation?
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To prove you have the legal status and ability, to deal with the deceased person's estate, you will need the Grant of Representation document. Depending on the amount of money in the account and which bank the account is with, will define when you will need to provide the document. Most banks will allow access to the account so that expenses relating to the estate can be settled, before the Grant of Representation has been issued.  In this circumstance you may just need to sign a discharge and indemnity form, confirming you will pay back any monies if you did not have the right to access the funds.
Proof of authority to act
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You can use a copy of the Will to prove you are an executor.  If there isn't a Will, you will need to provide proof of a relationship to the deceased.
Requirements for closing bank accounts when someone dies
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  • Make sure the death has been registered
  • You will need to provide a copy of the death certificate
  • Proof of Authority will be needed to freeze the account
  • Proof of identity e.g. passport or photo driving licence
  • Notify any companies that might be affected by the closing / freezing of the account e.g. utility companies
Please also see 'Who do you need to tell?' on our Guides and Advice page for more helpful information.
Who should close the bank account when someone dies?
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If there is a will, the executor will be responsible for acting on behalf of the deceased and notifying the bank.
Notifying the bank when someone dies
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After a death has been registered, one of the first things to do will be to notify the bank to close any bank accounts. Until the funds can be released and closed, you can expect the account to be frozen.