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Bereavement Support

Losing someone close to you can be devastating. We understand that you’ll be grieving and sorting out financial matters will be the last thing you’ll want to think about at such a difficult time. This guide gently explains the process of dealing with any savings or mortgage accounts your loved one held with us and aims to offer all the help and advice you’ll need in relation to them. Please remember, you’ll have our utmost sympathy and support at all times.

Contact us

By post

Progressive Building Society, 33/37 Wellington Place, Belfast, BT1 6HH

By telephone

0800 029 4998

By email

A list of all our branches, including addresses and contact numbers, can also be found on the contact us page.

Registering your loved one’s death

When someone passes away, their death must be registered with the Register for Births, Deaths and Marriages. You can do this at your local registration office or at - this website contains useful information as to who can register a death and how to do it.

Upon registering the death, you will be given:

  • a death certificate;
  • a certificate for burial or cremation;
  • a certificate of Registration of Death.

It’s a good idea to ask for extra copies of the death certificate, as many organisations will request an original version. Please bear in mind that there will be a charge for this.

Helping you through what you’ll need to do

The government’s website provides a simple and invaluable checklist to guide you through what to do when your loved one passes away or you can use the one we’ve included here for your convenience.

Organising the funeral, be it a burial or cremation, is a daunting task. A professional funeral director will be able to to organise everything on your behalf, ensuring it is all dealt with in a dignified and respectful manner.

The Estate

When someone passes away, everything they own is referred to as their ‘Estate’. This can include:

  • money - cash, bank or building society accounts, money owed by others;
  • property;
  • personal possessions, such as jewellery or a car;
  • insurance policies;
  • stocks and shares.

The Estate is distributed in accordance with whatever is written in the Will. There is usually a person named in the Will who is responsible for carrying out the deceased’s wishes. This person is called the Executor.

If your loved one did not leave a Will, the court may appoint someone to deal with the Estate, this person is called the Administrator.

Executors and Administrators are collectively referred to as Personal Representatives. If you are a Personal Representative, you can deal with the Estate yourself or you can appoint a Solicitor to deal with the administration. You’ll have to pay for these services, but it can be worthwhile at such a difficult time.

You can find out more at

Letting us know

The next thing you’ll need to do is let all correspondents know what has happened. There are a number of ways you can inform us of the passing away of one of our Members:

  • Call into one of our local branches where you’ll be treated with support and sympathy;
  • Write to us at: Progressive Building Society, 33/37 Wellington Place, Belfast, BT1 6HH;
  • Call our helpline on 0800 029 4998, (9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday).

Due to the extremely high volumes of enquiries, unfortunately the Society does NOT accept enquiries from third party estate search companies. We will still accept and respond to all enquiries from individuals and solicitors acting on behalf of personal representatives.

So that we can assist you to the best of our ability, we would ask that you please try to have the following documents to hand when you contact us:

Proof of death

  • Either the original death certificate or a certified copy.  It can also be an interim death certificate or coroner’s certificate. 

Proof of your identification

  • Valid UK photocard driving licence or passport.

Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration (if applicable) 

  • You will need one of these documents if the total value of all accounts held with us in the sole name of the deceased is £25,000 or more.


  • You will need the passbooks for the savings accounts the deceased held with the Society.    

Cancelling payments & standing orders

Any payments usually paid into your loved one’s savings account, should be cancelled as soon as possible. The quickest way is to contact the organisation sending the payment directly, otherwise payments may continue.

After the death is registered at Progressive, we will freeze the account and return all payments to the sender.

Releasing funds to cover costs

We understand that you may need to honour some bills before all the legal documents are sorted out for administration of the Estate.

We can help by allowing you to use the balance of your loved one’s account to pay expenses such as those listed in the table below.

Funeral expenses

  • We will need the original funeral bill and we will issue you with a cheque payable to the funeral directors.

Probate court fees

  • We will need the original court invoice and we will issue you with a cheque payable to the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service.

Inheritance Tax

  • Inheritance Tax needs to be paid if a person’s Estate is over the Inheritance Tax threshold. The Inheritance Tax threshold can go up or down from year to year depending on rules set by the government.  In most cases, Inheritance Tax must be paid before the Grant of Representation is issued;
  • The Personal Representative(s) should complete and return HM Revenue & Customs form IHT423 to us.  We will pay the Inheritance Tax directly to HM Revenue & Customs;
  • For more information on Inheritance Tax, visit, or call HMRC’s Inheritance Tax helpline on 0300 123 1072.

To release funds, you’ll need to provide us with the death certificate, an interim death certificate or a coroner’s certificate, and the passbooks of your loved one’s savings account(s). 

A Personal Representative’s Request for Funds to Cover Costs form, available to download or pick up in any branch, must also be completed.

To make a withdrawal visit any of our branches or call our helpline on 0800 029 4998

Closing accounts

To release funds entirely from a savings account in your loved one’s sole name, the Personal Representative should complete and return the Bereavement – Request to Close Accounts form, available to download or pick up in any branch.

The documents you’ll need to do this are listed below:

Total balances of the account(s)

Documents required

Less than £5,000

  • A Bereavement - Request to Close Accounts form completed by the Personal Representative(s), and
  • either the original death certificate, interim death certificate, coroner’s certificate or a certified copy.

Between £5,000 - £25,000

  • A Bereavement - Request to Close Accounts form completed by the Personal Representative(s), and witnessed by a Solicitor, and 
  • either the original death certificate, interim death certificate, coroner’s certificate or a certified copy 

Over £25,000

  • A Bereavement - Request to Close Accounts form completed by the Personal Representative(s) named in the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, and 
  • either the original or a certified copy of the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. 

Savings accounts

With some savings accounts, it is possible to continue the account in a different name or transfer ownership, for instance, if it has been a joint account or if the account was a nominee account.

In any instance, we can talk you through how best to proceed with the account after your loved one has passed.

Savings accounts held in joint names

If you held a joint account with a loved one who has passed away, we will change the account into your sole name and give you a new Passbook. You can also choose to close the account without notice or loss of interest should you choose to do so.

Bond accounts

Bond accounts can be left until they mature, or you can close the account immediately without notice or loss of interest.

Nominee accounts

If the person who has passed away held a savings account on behalf of another person, for example, a parent holding an account on behalf of a child, the Personal Representative(s) will take over the operation of the account.

Cash ISAs

If your loved one held a Cash ISA, it will remain open and maintain its tax-free status until either the completion of the administration of their estate, the date their ISA is closed or on the third anniversary of their death, whichever is earliest.  

After 3 years if the account hasn't been closed, we'll move the balance into a taxable savings account. It stays there until the Personal Representative(s) asks for the money to be released.

Inheriting an ISA allowance

If you are the surviving spouse or civil partner of the person who has passed away, you can inherit an additional ISA allowance.  This allowance is known as an Additional Permitted Subscription (APS) or inherited ISA allowance.     

This means that you will inherit the deceased’s ISA allowance but not necessarily the balance of the ISA account.  The allowance is available for 3 years after the date of death or 180 days after the administration of the estate has been completed, whichever is longer.

Please note, at Progressive we can only accept an inherited ISA allowance from a surviving spouse or civil partner where the deceased ISA holder was an existing Member and held their Cash ISA with the Society.

Unfortunately, we cannot accept the transfer of an inherited ISA allowance from another ISA manager. The surviving spouse or civil partner may only make a one-off permitted subscription to their Progressive Cash ISA and we are unable to accept multiple subscriptions. It's worth noting that if the surviving spouse or civil partner does not subscribe the full amount of their inherited ISA allowance then any unused balance will be lost.

Online savings accounts

If your loved one managed their savings account online, you can contact our Online Service Team using the information below, and they will guide you through the necessary steps to take.

Telephone: 0800 029 4997


The Online Service Team is open for business at the following times:

Monday to Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm

Mortgage accounts

There will be lots to consider at this time and one of the big decisions to be made will no doubt be about property.

As mortgage experts we can guide you through the options, which may be available to you, so you’ll have all the information you need to help you make the right decision.

Sole name

If the mortgage was in a sole name, it’s sometimes possible to pay it off using the proceeds of the Estate or an insurance policy.

Where this is not possible, there are some alternative options.

For example, the property may be sold, and the mortgage repaid. Or perhaps another member of the family may plan to live in the property.  Where this is the case we may be able to arrange a new mortgage subject to affordability checks and approval.

Talk to us and let us use our knowledge to help you.

Joint names

If the mortgage is in joint names and it can’t be repaid by an insurance policy, savings plan or other resource, we can amend the account into the name of the surviving borrower, providing the property was owned on a ‘joint tenancy’ basis.

If the mortgage was owned as ‘tenants in common’ this is a different matter and we’ll need instructions from you or your Solicitor on how you wish to proceed.

It is important that you keep in touch with us and that you continue to meet the monthly payments.

Our friendly staff will be able to explain your options, so please get in touch.

Progressive Building Society, 33/37 Wellington Place, Belfast, BT1 6HH

Alternatively, you can call our helpline on 0800 029 4998 or visit one of our Branch offices. Contact details of your local branch can be found on our website.

Monday to Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm

Checklist – What to do when a loved one passes away

At a time of such sadness and difficulty, it can be useful for someone to guide you through the more practical matters.

We’ve put together a simple checklist, which will hopefully take away some of the stress and strain and assist you in what you need to do.

It’s helpful to have the following information ready with regards to your loved one:

  • National Insurance number;
  • NHS number;
  • Date and place of birth;
  • Date of marriage or civil partnership (if appropriate);
  • Tax reference number;
  • Passport and driving licence number.

First five days


Tell the family doctor


Register the death at the relevant Registrar’s Office (except where the death has been referred to the Coroner)


Find the Will – your loved one’s Solicitor may have a copy if you can’t find it


Begin funeral arrangements – you will need to check the Will for any special requests


If relevant, contact local Social Security or Jobs & Benefits office to cancel benefits. Contact the Bereavement Service – 0800 085 2463  


If there is a Will


Contact the Executor


If there is no Will


Decide who will apply to sort out the deceased’s affairs


Contact the Probate Registry to apply for Letters of Administration 


Who to tell


Relatives and friends








Government organisations


Relevant tax office


If they were self-employed, contact National Insurance Contributions office to cancel payments


Land & Property Services (LPS) or Housing Benefit/Rate Relief


UK Identity and Passport Service or Irish Passport Office to return and cancel a passport


Driver Vehicle Agency (DVA) to return any driving licence, cancel car tax or return car registration documents/change ownership


Local councils in Northern Ireland


Financial organisations


General insurance companies for home, car, travel or medical


Pension providers


Life insurance companies


Banks and building societies


Mortgage provider


Hire purchase or loan companies


Credit card or store card providers


Utilities and household contacts


Landlord or local housing authority


Any private organisation/agency providing home help


Utility companies if accounts were in the deceased’s name


Royal Mail


TV/internet companies to cancel subscriptions


Other people or organisations to tell


Bereavement Register and Deceased Preference Service to remove the deceased’s name from mailing lists and databases


Clubs, trade unions, associations and seasonal membership for cancellation and refund


Regular place of worship


Social groups





Here are explanations for some of the legal words and phrases that are frequently used when someone passes away, just to help you understand the terminology a little better.


The person appointed to administer an Estate where there is no valid Will, or where the Executor is unable or unwilling to act.  They will usually have to obtain Letters of Administration authorising them to deal with the Estate.   


The person or organisation that benefits from the Will.

Certified copy

A copy of the original document, which has been signed and dated by a person who holds a position of responsibility such as a Solicitor.  The person will certify the document by writing on it ‘true copy of the original’. 

Coroner’s certificate

In certain circumstances a death has to be investigated by a Coroner.  In this case a coroner’s certificate will be provided until the death certificate has been issued.

Death certificate

A certified copy of the entry of death in the Registrar’s record.


A person’s Estate includes everything they own and everything that’s in their name. 


The person, institution or professional named in a Will to deal with the Estate following a person’s death.  They will usually have to obtain a Grant of Probate authorising them to deal with the Estate.   

Grant of Probate or Grant of Representation

An official document confirming that the Will is valid and stating who the Personal Representatives are.  It is granted to the Executors so that they have the legal right to administer the Estate.

Inheritance Tax

A tax paid to HM Revenue & Customs on the Estate of the deceased.

Letters of Administration

An official document that gives the Administrator the legal right to administer the Estate left by the person who died, where there is no Will. 

Personal Representative

The general term for an Executor or Administrator.


The official document that gives instructions for what should happen to the Estate of the person who has died.  It usually names the Executors.

Further sources of help and information

If you’d like further help and guidance on what to do when your loved one passes away, or if you’d simply like someone to talk to, to help you come to terms with their passing, please use the links below.

There’s a wealth of help and support available in Northern Ireland, and always someone to lend a hand, or an ear.

Useful links

NI Direct Government Services

My Lost Account

The Bereavement Register

Deceased Preference Service

Age NI

Cruse Bereavement Care


Citizen’s Advice Bureau


This is intended as general information only and is not legal advice. Where appropriate, and particularly where the deceased person owned property, had significant assets or there is any sort of dispute, you are strongly advised to seek independent legal advice.