The importance of the death certificate
A recent newspaper article revealed that a woman was so frustrated by a bank’s refusal to halt increasing fees on her late father’s account, that she finally went into the branch with his ashes, to proved that he was indeed deceased.
Shortly after his death, a charge occurred on his account. Because the woman did not initially provide the original death certificates as requested, the bank was not able to formally register the account as closed, and the charges increased significantly to £625.
For some reason, she did not supply the original documentation as requested. It was only after the debt was passed to a debt recovery agency did she take action by taking the original certificate and an urn containing her late father’s ashes into the branch.
This unnecessary drama highlights the need for the executor of an estate to be made fully aware of the procedures and requirements following the death of their loved one. Most financial institutions and many creditors will request the original death certificate, rather than a photocopy. For this reason, it’s always advisable to have several copies certified. This then means that these copies can be treated as the original, and the scenario above can be averted very quickly and easily.