We're here to help at this difficult time

Losing someone is difficult enough without having to resolve complicated financial matters through a complex process. It can feel overwhelming. So at Starling, we try to make it as easy as possible.

We’ve created this guide to let you know what information we’ll need, plus a few other things you might want to consider.

What are the first steps?

When someone dies, their death needs to be registered. You can do this at any registry office, preferably one in the area where the person passed away.

You’ll be issued with a death certificate, which is required by most organisations before settling or discussing the estate.

Where possible, it’s a good idea to request multiple copies of the death certificate (£11 in England and Wales, £8 in Northern Ireland and £10 in Scotland) so these can be provided to any organisations that require a copy. If not, you might find yourself waiting for your copy to be returned.

If the person has died overseas, you can visit the government website to find out how to register the death.

Information correct as of April 2020

Informing Starling about a bereavement

If the person who has died had an account with Starling, please let us know as soon as possible by calling our Customer Service team on 0207 930 4450 or by sending an email to help@starlingbank.com.

To be able to discuss an account with you, we’ll need some specific documentation. Initially, we’ll need:

  • The death certificate or coroner’s certificate
  • A certified copy* of your photocard driving licence or your passport
  • A will, if available (with executors’ details and certified ID). This is important as the will names the executors of the estate of the person who has died. If there isn’t a will, the estate is subject to intestacy rules

These can be emailed to help@starlingbank.com or sent by mail to:

Bereavement Team,
Starling Bank Limited,
3rd Floor,
2 Finsbury Avenue,

Why do these documents need to be certified?

As we don’t have physical bank branches, we’ll need these documents certified to verify that you’re the person in the photo ID.

Where and how can I get the documents certified?

If you already have an appointment to register the death of the customer at another bank or building society, they should be able to certify these documents for you. Alternatively, the following people can certify these documents:

  • A councillor
  • A minister of religion
  • A dentist
  • A chartered accountant
  • A solicitor or notary
  • A teacher or lecturer

The person you ask should not be:

  • Related to you
  • Living at the same address
  • In a relationship with you

Please be aware there may be a charge to certify these documents.

The certification of the document must include the following:

  • 'Certified to be a true copy of the original seen by me'
  • Signature:
  • Date:
  • Printed name:
  • Occupation:
  • Address:
  • Telephone number:

Our Specialist Team might need more documentation from you, such as a Grant of Probate, A Letter of Administration or Confirmation. If they are required, we will get in touch to request these.

As it’s difficult to get a document certified during the lockdown we will accept uncertified ID documents or make alternative arrangements as appropriate.

Information correct as of April 2020

What happens after you’ve notified Starling?

  1. Once you’ve notified us, we’ll freeze any account(s) in the name of the person who has died to prevent any unauthorised spending.

  2. Once we receive the documentation we need, we’ll inform you if there’s an existing account, arrange for the account balance to be paid to the executor and tell you the next steps.

Please note that we’ll need a Grant of Probate, Letter of Administration or Confirmation (Scotland) if the total of all account balances is above £1,000.

If there’s outstanding borrowing on the account, we may retain or offset the funds with the existing account balances to repay the outstanding funds.

Information correct as of April 2020


  • What happens if there is any outstanding borrowing?

    If there’s any outstanding borrowing on the account, we may retain or offset the funds with the existing account balances to repay the outstanding funds.

  • If there are funds in the account, can they be used for urgent expenses? e.g. a funeral?

    We know that funerals can be expensive, and that this can make an incredibly difficult situation more stressful. We’re here to help, if we can, by releasing any funds within the account to help with costs.

    We’ll need the funeral invoice together with a certified copy of the death certificate, if not already supplied to us. We’ll pay any funds (up to the balance of the deceased’s account) directly to the funeral director, on your behalf.

    In some cases, government help with funeral costs is available.

  • What about Inheritance Tax?

    To find out further information about Inheritance Tax please visit this website.

  • How do I obtain Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration/Confirmation?

    In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, if there’s a will and you are listed as an executor, you may need to apply for a ‘grant of probate’.

    If there’s no will, or the named executors are unable/unwilling to act, you may need ‘letters of administration’.

    In Scotland, both of the above are referred to as a ‘certificate of confirmation’.

    By visiting the government website you can find out more about applying for a probate.

    Citizens Advice have some information surrounding this topic.

Organisations that are here to help

Who else can I talk to about this process?

Citizens Advice Bureau

Bereavement benefits

HM Revenue and Customs

Department of Work and Pensions

Tell us Once (lets you report a death to most government organisations in one go)

Probate Service

The General Register for Scotland

Get help with funeral expenses

National Association Funeral Directors

Stop receiving unwanted mail

Redirecting mail

Who else can I ask to support me at this time?

Cruse Bereavement Care, www.crusescotland.org.uk - Cruse offers confidential support for adults & children.

The Samaritans – Offering a safe place to talk, any time.

Macmillan - For everyone affected by cancer.

Information correct as of April 2020

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