Death notification services – What to do in the event of death
As anyone facing the loss of a loved one knows, it can take a tremendous amount of time and energy to process all official death notifications: from utilities, banks, pensions, insurance to TV, to broadband, to social media… the list goes on. at. Typically, there may be up to 20 calls to make when you close, transfer, or freeze a deceased person’s accounts – and all at a time of great distress.
An investigation by the Standard mourning campaign last year has shown that an overwhelming majority of people find the process of dealing with businesses after death “time consuming, stressful and complicated”. Less than 18% of people described service providers as “helpful” or “effective”, while 24% described the process as “traumatic”.
Give your opinion: the 2021 Standard Bereavement Survey is currently open for comment, so if you’d like to share your experiences of how UK businesses have treated grieving customers during the pandemic, Click here.
While there is the Tell us once* service that notifies government and public sector services all at once, and the Death notice service which will inform a number of banks and building societies, so far there has not been a single stopover for all private sector companies, including financial services.
How do I inform businesses and service providers that my loved one has died?
When Vicky Wilson and her mother Julie were faced with the onerous task of informing everyone about the death of a close relative two years ago, they decided to set up a new online “tell us one” service. times ”called Settld. “Sadly, more families than ever have been bereaved in the past year as the pandemic has claimed more than 125,000 lives. This means that more people have had to deal with banks, insurance and utility companies, mobile and broadband service providers and other household providers, to inform them of a death, ”he said. Vicky said.
“Dealing with the administrator at the end of life can be extremely stressful and can take a lot of time and energy. While some companies offer better treatment than others, additional pain is often caused by poor staff training, processes and service, ”she added.
There are already over 700 domestic, digital and financial service companies involved in the service provided by Settled. “We charge professionals for the use of the service and that means we can keep it completely free for bereaved individuals and families,” says Vicky. “Our job is to eliminate stress, hassle and pain as much as possible so that you can focus on the things that matter.” Julie adds: “We estimate that we are saving lawyers 97% of the time they would spend on this task, so it is a saving for the client.”
Tell us once
A registrar will explain the Tell us once at the time of death registration and either help you complete the form or give you the unique reference number you will need to do it yourself online or over the phone. Notified services include: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Passport Office, Driver and Vehicle Licens Agency (DVLA), Local Council – to cancel housing allowance, council tax and remove the person from the voters list. register and Veterans UK – to cancel Armed Forces Compensation Plan payments. Tell Us Once will also contact some public sector pension plans, including My Civil Service Pension, NHS Pension Scheme and Armed Forces Pension Scheme.
The death notice service
This is a free service that allows you to simultaneously notify several banks and mortgage companies of the death of a person. Covered financial institutions are listed on the website and include Bank of Scotland, Barclays, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, M&S Bank, Nationwide Building Society, Natwest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Scottish Widows. Not all banks and building societies are members.
Why we need a grieving standard
There is also a campaign for a Grieving standard. This would require setting a deadline for account closings, standardizing the required documents (with digital copies accepted where possible) and ensuring that service providers have dedicated mourning channels, with properly trained staff, to available to customers. The campaign was co-founded by Settld with Bereavement Care Cruse, and supported by charities like Sue ryder, Marie Curie, Hospice United Kingdom, At a loss, WAY Widow and Younger, with the National Association of Funeral Directors, and experts in wills, estates and funerals, Farewell.
The Change.org petition set up by Julie and Vicky collected more than 93,000 signatures and a motion from the first days received the support of 50 MPs. Register on changer.org.
Where can I get additional help?
- the Bereavement counseling center has a list of whom to notify, as well as a step-by-step checklist of what to do when someone dies, and a hotline.
- Bereavement Care Cruse has a wealth of information and support, including hotlines and helpful links and brochures.
- For more information on what to do when someone dies, contact the Financial advisory service.
- Advice to citizens – what to do after a death, from registration to the treatment of the deceased’s property.
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* Tell Us Once is not available in Northern Ireland. Find who to tell about a death in Northern Ireland.
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