Living with bereavement can be a challenging time. Our team are happy to talk it all through on the phone if anything isn't clear. And there are lots of charities and support organisations on hand to help you. You may also be able to get help with your finances. Find out about the available emotional and financial support.

What's on this page

Releasing money to pay for expenses

We can release available money for urgent costs like:

  • the person's funeral
  • Grant of Representation fees
  • personal representative registration fees
  • Inheritance Tax.

We can’t release money to pay:

  • care home fees
  • utility bills.

The deceased’s estate debts are generally settled in a priority order, managed by the Personal Representative of the estate. They should be in touch with the creditors, such as care homes and utility providers, to manage any debt payments.

If you need help with managing the finances of someone who has died, we’d recommend visiting the Citizens Advice website (opens in a new window) or Bereavement Advice Centre (opens in a new window).

How to arrange access to funds to help with expenses

Please print and complete our request for funds to cover fees form and post it.

Bereavement Services
Specialist Customer Support
Nationwide Building Society
SN38 3FN

If you're unable to print and post this form, you can visit your local branch for assistance.

Paying for the funeral

We can release funds from the person’s sole accounts to cover funeral expenses.

We can release up to £8,000 from the account in branch if you bring in the form, or complete it with us during your visit. Any request over £8,000 needs to be sent to the Bereavement Services team by posting the form and they'll be in touch. If there isn’t enough money in the account to pay for all the costs, we’ll release what is there.

We'll send a payment to the funeral service provider.

Paying in advance

Some funeral providers require payment in advance. If you’re not sure what the final costs will be, give us the estimate and we’ll release funds to pay the deposit.

If you have the final invoice, we can release funds up to the full amount. Please note that if the amount required is over £8,000 the request will need to be dealt with by our Bereavement Team, who will issue your payment. If there isn’t enough money in the account to pay for all of the costs, we’ll release what is there.

If the bill has already been paid by the executor

We’ll need to see the funeral invoice and a bank statement or credit card bill with their name and address and showing the payment.

Grant of Representation or personal representative registration form fees

For help with these expenses, please complete and return the form. We'll send you a cheque made out to the court.

Inheritance Tax

The personal representative is responsible for paying any Inheritance Tax. They do this by using money from the person’s estate.

To pay any Inheritance Tax, download and print an IHT423 form (opens in a new window). This is available on the Government’s website. You should then post this to us at:

Bereavement Services
Specialist Customer Support
Nationwide Building Society
SN38 3FN

Once we receive the form, we’ll send an electronic payment to the Government using the person’s estate.

Support with arranging the funeral

There are lots of organisations available to help you arrange the funeral.

Citizens Advice

How funerals are arranged, what services you can expect to get from a funeral director and how to get help with paying for a funeral.
Citizens Advice (opens in a new window)

Humanists UK

Help with arranging non-religious funerals and ceremonies.
Humanists UK (opens in a new window)

National Association of Funeral Directors

Help with finding a registered funeral director in your area.
National Association of Funeral Directors (opens in a new window)

The Natural Death Centre

Support and guidance when planning a funeral.
The Natural Death Centre (opens in a new window)

Deal with any debts the person held with us

If there's any money owed to us by the person who died, such as a credit card balance, a loan or an overdraft, this will need settling.

Once we've spoken to the personal representative, we'll inform our probate partner, Phillips & Cohen Associates (UK), of the situation. They will contact the personal representative to talk through and agree how any debts can be settled.

Phillips & Cohen Associates

Once our probate partner has contacted the personal representative, our partner can be contacted directly to discuss the options further:

0333 555 10 50

Monday to Thursday, 8am to 8pm
Friday, 8am to 5:30pm
Saturday, 9am to 1pm

Closed Sundays and bank holidays.

Review any taxes, benefits or National Insurance contributions

When someone dies, their tax, benefits and National Insurance will need reviewing. There may be money to pay or a tax rebate owed. The personal representative is responsible for paying any Inheritance Tax using funds from the person’s estate.

As ever, remember to come back here after you’ve read the Government’s guide so that you don’t miss anything.

We can issue tax statements for the member’s sole accounts up until the date of their death. But we cannot do this for joint accounts.

Close the accounts

How you close an account depends on how much money is held in it.

Once you've sent us the death certificate and we've registered the death, we'll need to look at how much is left in the person's account.

We'll then send you a Request to Close Account(s) (SF220) form by post. You'll need to complete this form and return it to us using the envelope provided.

Please post them to us at:

Bereavement Services
Specialist Customer Support
Nationwide Building Society
SN38 3FN

How to close accounts containing £50,000 or more

As well as returning the completed SF220 form, you'll also need to post a Grant of Probate in the same envelope. You can find the application for this on the Government website.

Apply for a Grant of Probate (opens in a new window)

Our bereavement support leaflet

Thank you for completing all 3 steps in our guide.

We have a bereavement support leaflet that you can download and print out. It has a useful checklist to help you make sure you’ve done everything you need to.