Bereavement support - Frequently asked questions
I am a personal representative, what proof of identity and address do you need from me?
For more information, take a look at our complete list of acceptable documents as proof of identity and confirmation of address.
What documentation do you need in order to administer the accounts?
The documents we may require are listed in our acceptable documents table. The exact documents we require will be requested by our specialist bereavement team.
- Original death certificate or the coroner's certificate
- If there is a will, an original or certified copy of the will, to confirm who is entitled to deal with the estate and be a personal representative.
- If a personal representative of the deceased does not already bank with M&S Bank, we'll need one form of identification and one form of address verification for each of the personal representatives in order for us to release any credit funds.
- Original sealed grant of probate or letters of administration (or in Scotland this is called 'confirmation') may be required.
We prefer to see documents that are issued by an official authority and include a photograph, such as a passport, national identity card or photo card driving licence. If you can't provide one of these, please make sure your identity and address verification documents include your full first name as well as your surname. For more information, take a look at our list of acceptable documents for proof of identity and confirmation of address.
Alternatively, please do not hesitate to contact our Bereavement Support team with any questions you have.
When does M&S Bank need to see grant of probate or letters of administration?
Probate is not required where all the deceased's assets are held jointly with another person and where they pass automatically to the joint owner.
Where the value of the deceased's assets held in their sole name is greater than £5,000, probate may be required. Most financial institutions have individual discretionary limits for releasing assets without seeing the legal document.
At M&S Bank, we feel it's important that we support you as an individual. For this reason, every case will be reviewed by one of our Bereavement Support team.
Please be aware – if the deceased owned a property in their sole name probate will always be required before it can be sold or transferred.
Why do you need to see original documents?
The reason we request original documents, or a certified document is to protect the business, and our customers from potential fraud. We need to identify and verify all the personal representatives dealing with the estate, so we can protect the estate from criminals who may use your name or other information without your knowledge. Documents that are issued by an official authority and include a photograph, such as a passport, national identity card or photo card driving licence, are not easy to forge.
For more information, take a look at our list of acceptable documents for proof of identity and confirmation of address.
Why does M&S Bank need to see the will?
We need to see the will to ensure that we are dealing with the correct personal representative(s) of the deceased.
What happens if there is no will?
If someone passes away without making a will or you're unable to locate a signed will, they are said to have passed away 'intestate'. The law on who will inherit the estate will vary depending on where the deceased lived and in some circumstances, their religion. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the Laws of Intestacy apply and the person who will inherit the estate is the next of kin – usually their husband, wife, civil partner or their child/children. Unmarried partners are not considered next of kin. In Scotland, different rules apply – to find out more, visit gov.scot.
To find out what to do if there is no will left in England visit gov.uk/inherits-someone-dies-without-will. There you'll find a simple online tool that takes into account the deceased's situation and guides you to the correct information.
What happens if there are other M&S Bank products held by the deceased customer?
Once you've informed us of your bereavement we'll ensure that all the relevant teams within M&S Bank are updated. If the person who passed away had investments with M&S Bank, these will be dealt with separately and the relevant Bereavement Support teams will contact you to confirm the next steps.
How can the personal representative(s)/executor(s) contact you?
There are various ways that you can contact us, but you may find the quickest way to notify us is to complete our Contact us form (link opens in a new tab).
You can also call our Customer Services team on 0345 900 0900 or write to us at M&S Bank, PO Box 10581, 51 Saffron Road, Wigston, LE18 4US.
What can be paid from an account after you have been notified of the death and before it is closed?
Where sufficient funds are available, we can help you by paying the funeral bill, wake and flowers, any probate fees and inheritance tax (subject to limits). For more information or guidance, please contact our Bereavement Support team on 0345 300 6139.
Can I pay the funeral expenses from the deceased's account?
Yes. Provided there are sufficient funds in the deceased's account, we will be able to pay the funeral expenses directly on receipt of the original invoice.
Unfortunately, we can't accept estimates to settle the bill in full. However, we can accept the funeral director's estimate if a deposit is requested to be paid prior to the funeral taking place.
Wherever possible we require the funeral director's bank account details to process the payment more quickly.
For more information or guidance, please contact our Bereavement Support team on 0345 300 6139.
Can you pay inheritance tax on behalf of the personal representative?
Yes. We can pay inheritance tax on your behalf.
The personal representative(s), who are applying for grant of probate, will need to complete and sign an HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) form IHT 423 and include the unique HMRC reference number. This is obtained from HMRC.
Once we receive the completed form, we will make the payment direct to HMRC.
Note: We need to have seen the death certificate and know the name(s) of the personal representative(s).
How can I stop direct mail being delivered after someone has passed away?
Getting mail addressed to a person who has passed away can be upsetting. The Bereavement Register® is a free service that helps reduce the amount of direct mail being sent to the address of a person who has passed away.
Why haven't I received a statement?
The account is frozen once we are notified and we don't issue a statement because it would go out in the deceased person's name.
Why do I need to send Identity documents in?
To protect the deceased's estate, we must ensure that we liaise only with the personal representatives of the estate or their appointed attorney.
How do I apply for my own card?
You can apply for your own card online, or by calling 0345 900 0900.
Can I have the outstanding Loyalty Points?
We can only transfer Loyalty Points to you if you have your own card.
Will subscriptions to the account be cancelled automatically?
No. The executor or administrator of the estate will be responsible for notifying all merchants to cancel subscriptions e.g. Card Safe.
What happens if any of my accounts are in debit?
Upon notification of death, any account with an outstanding debit balance will need to be repaid. If the estate is solvent, then the personal representative must authorise us to deduct any amount from credit balances held on the other accounts.
Where there are insufficient funds on other accounts, any outstanding amounts will need to be paid from the estate.
Additional Cardholders – Why can't I use my card?
The account is stopped when we are notified that the main cardholder is deceased. You can apply for your own card online, or by calling 0345 900 0900.
Will subscriptions to the account be cancelled automatically?
No the executor or administrator of the estate will be responsible for notifying all merchants to cancel subscriptions.
What happens to the interest charges on credit products?
The account is frozen once we are notified that the main account holder is deceased. This means interest will no longer be charged on the outstanding balance of the account.
Notify us online
Write to us
You can send your documents to us at:
PO Box 10581
51 Saffron Road
Calls are recorded for our mutual security, training and monitoring purposes.