Normally, in order to deal with the money, all the bank would need would be a copy of the death certificate and they would then ask you to sign a statutory declaration that you are entitled to deal with the money and would distribute it either in accordance with any will or the rules of intestacy.
If you presented the death certificate and the funeral account to the bank, they would normally pay the funeral account direct in any event.
You haven’t actually done anything criminal with regard to paying the bills, you just haven’t followed the correct procedure.
Tell the bank that you need to close this account and that you are the person’s entitled to deal with the estate, that the total amount of the estate is what is in the bank and that there is no house or property and hence, probate will not be needed. They can then give you the appropriate form.
Can I clarify anything for you?
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Did you have to sign the form in front of a solicitor? If not, then it’s probably a different form and you would need to contact the bank again. Normally, once they have the correct form, they should release the money to you immediately or after a very short time period
You get the form from the bank first.it is usually in the form of a statutory declaration
You complete it (sometimes the bank will complete it for you) and then your signature needs to be witnessed by a solicitor and the form sworn on oath.