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Can you advise me on being a Power of Attorney for a person that died?


A Power of Attorney stops working on the day the person dies. If they left a will, it is up to the listed executor(s) to make decisions and carry out administrative tasks. If there was no-will, it will be up to the next of kin to deal with matters.

Whoever is dealing with things should cancel the Power of Attorney by notifying the Public Guardian of the death by emailing them a copy of the death certificate to

Include the following information in your email:

- Subject: Notification of Death

- Power of Attorney Certificate Number

- Name of the deceased

- Date of death


What happens to bank accounts when someone dies?


By notifying the bank of the death, all sole accounts will be frozen and all the direct debits and standing orders cancelled. You may need to make other arrangements so things like insurance don't stop. You shouldn't use the bank account without notifying the bank first.

Joint accounts will be switched to sole accounts in the name of the survivor after you notify them.

Every bank has its own rules when it comes to letting you deal with another person's account. If the account is under the bank's 'probate threshold', you could get almost instant access to money. If not, you may need to get 'grant of confirmation' before they'll let you have access.

Banks will pay funeral invoices from frozen accounts.


How many death certificates do I need?


It is a good idea to get a few extra copies of the death certificate, perhaps 3-5 if you think their affairs are reasonably uncomplicated. This will make the administration process easier later when contacting multiple organisations at the same time as you won't have to wait for every certificate to be sent back to you.

Companies should always send the death certificate back to you, make sure you ask them to. It can be a good idea to send it by recorded delivery. They are a lot cheaper to buy on the day rather than later on.

Find out more about notifying companies of the death.


What financial support is available for spouses?


Find out about bereavement and funeral support payments.


Do you have to pay council tax on an empty house?


Most council areas off a 100% discount on council tax for 6 months after the date of death. This can usually be extended for another 6 months after confirmation has been granted to allow time for a sale. Generally, further extensions can be negotiated if the house is being actively marketed for sale.

You should contact the local council to find out their rules as these types of things are decided on a council by council basis.

Who is the next of kin when someone dies?

There is not a legal definition of this. Normally it would be the spouse/civil partner, followed by the nearest blood relative. The order would usually go: children, parents, siblings.

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