Welcome to our new website:

explore how we've made it better and simpler for you. Read about the changes to our website

Once you've notified us, you should register the death and get a death certificate, if you haven't already. You should also start looking into who should deal with the estate and find out if there's a will. We'll cover all of these in this step.

Throughout the 3 steps, you can find short glossaries at the end of each section. These have definitions of some of the more complex words you’ll come across in this process, like probate and estate.

Information:

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 every step of the way. You may also be entitled to receive financial help and benefits, which can be even more important at this time. Find out about the available emotional and financial support.

What's on this page


Let us and others know about the bereavement

It's important you let us know that someone has died as soon as possible. You don't need to register the death or get a death certificate to do this, and anyone can let us know. You’ll just need to provide a few details to prove you knew the person.

Once you've let us know, we'll:

  • restrict any withdrawals on sole accounts to safeguard them
  • stop any unprepared marketing – unfortunately, you may continue to receive some mailing for a little while as it may have already been prepared.

What we'll need

  • person's full name
  • person's date of birth
  • date of their death
  • personal representative’s name and address (if you know this) so we know who we can write and give information to.

We'll look at personal representatives later in who should deal with the estate.

How to let us know

The fastest way to let us know someone has died is by using our online form.

To notify Nationwide only

Use our online Notification of Death form (opens in a new window).

This will only notify us of the death. So, you'll need to contact any other financial providers separately.

To notify several financial providers at once

The Death Notification Service (opens in a new window) is a free, external website that lets you notify all participating banks and building societies (opens in a new window), including us, at once.

The other financial providers will update their records and contact you within 10 days to let you know the next steps.

If you use this service, remember to come back here and continue moving through the steps so that you don't miss anything.

If you'd prefer, you can also call or write to our bereavement team to notify Nationwide only of the death.

Phone

Call our bereavement helpdesk:

Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
Saturday, 9am to 12pm.

Closed Sundays and bank holidays.

0800 464 30 18

Post

Write to:

Bereavement Services
Specialist Customer Support
Nationwide Building Society
Swindon
Wiltshire
SN38 3FN


Register the death and send us and others the death certificate

Now that you've let us and others know about the bereavement, you should register the death. You can register the death at a register office (opens in a new window). We recommend using one in the place where the person passed away.

Once you've registered the death, you'll be given a death certificate. Getting copies of this from the register office will come with a fee. If you can, try to get a few copies as some organisations, like utility companies, will need an original rather than one you've printed at home. You can keep costs down by taking in an original certificate in person, where possible, as some organisations will be able to photocopy this and return it to you.

Always remember that while it’s important to let all the organisations that the person had accounts with know about the bereavement, it doesn’t all need to be done in a day. You can complete this process at a pace that works for you.

Information:

The Government has created a guide to registering a death (opens in a new window). It will walk you through the steps for your situation. Remember to come back to this page and continue so that you don't miss anything.

If you haven't let us know about the bereavement yet, there are a few ways you can do this using the death certificate.

When you contact us, your information may also be used for the prevention of money laundering. Find out more about how we use your information.

Send us the original death certificate or a certified copy

Write to:

Bereavement Services
Specialist Customer Support
Nationwide Building Society
Swindon
Wiltshire
SN38 3FN

Bring the original death certificate or a certified copy to branch

We can see either an original copy of the death certificate or a certified copy (opens in a new window).

Tell us over the phone

If you’ve had the death certificate for a while, we may be able to verify it digitally. This will save you having to give us the original. If you’ve only recently registered the death, this may not be possible. Phone us to find out what options are available.

0800 464 30 18

  • Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
  • Saturday, 9am to 12pm.
  • Closed Sundays and bank holidays.

However you share the death certificate with us, we'll let the personal representative know if we need to see any ID and how to send this to us.

We'll look at personal representatives later in who should deal with the estate.


Deal with the estate and will

A person’s estate includes everything they own or that’s registered in their name, including money (cash, bank accounts or building society accounts), property, insurance policies, stocks and shares. After someone dies, their estate is either shared out according to their will or, in the case of intestacy (this means where no will was left), it’s given to their next of kin.

Find out if there's a will

A will is a legal document that indicates who should benefit from the estate and how. It may also appoint an executor to distribute the estate, appoint guardians or contain funeral wishes.

If there’s a will, we won’t need to see it to close or release funds from an account.

If there isn't a will, this means the estate is in intestacy. The Government has created a guide to who inherits if someone dies without a will (opens in a new window) to help you know what to do next if this describes your situation.

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

Who should deal with the estate

Sometimes, the will doesn't appoint an executor. If this is the case, there are 2 main options for who should deal with the estate: apply to be the personal representative yourself or get support from a legal professional.

Apply to be the personal representative

If you're legally entitled to do so, you can apply to be the personal representative and deal with the estate yourself.

The tasks of the personal representative can include:

  • collecting all the assets of the estate
  • dealing with any paperwork
  • settling any debts, taxes, funeral costs and administration costs
  • appointing a solicitor.

If the person’s Nationwide account contained £50,000 or more, you’ll need to apply for probate and provide us with proof of this through a Grant of Probate. Please note that other account providers and financial organisations may need a Grant of Probate for accounts with less than £50,000.

You may not need probate if the person who died only had some savings or premium bonds or if they had jointly owned their assets like property or shares. The Government has created a guide to help you understand whether you need to apply for probate.

We recommend following the Government's guide to applying for probate (opens in a new window) if this option seems best.

Someone, such as a relative or spouse, may have already applied for probate for this person. You can find out if this is the case if you search probate records for documents and wills (opens in a new window). This person will then be the personal representative instead.

Get legal support from a professional

You can hire a professional to help with some or all of the tasks of dealing with an estate. This will come at a cost, but they will be familiar with the whole process.

The Money Advice Service has created a handy guide to when and how to use a solicitor or probate specialist (opens in a new window) to help you decide the best option for your situation.

Remember that sometimes a legal professional is already appointed in the will to act as the representative. They will then be the executor for the person who has died. You should first check the will to understand your circumstances.


Move on to step 2

You've now notified us and any other financial providers of the bereavement, registered the death, sent us the death certificate, appointed someone to deal with the estate, and begun finding out if there's a will and what this means for all involved.

If you haven't yet completed all of these things, please go back and work your way through this page.

You can now move on to step 2 to find out what happens to the accounts the person held, including:

  • current accounts
  • credit cards
  • investments
  • savings accounts
  • mortgages
  • personal loans
  • home insurance
  • life insurance
  • trustee accounts.

What happens to the person's accounts