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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10232
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I was my mothers power of attorney, she left no will and

Customer Question

I was my mothers power of attorney, she left no will and after her death paid all her funeral expenses and other bills from her bank account not realising that power of attorney ceased when she died, when the bank realised what I was doing they took the card from me, that was about 2 months ago, their is not a lot of money under £5000, my father is dead and I was an only child, what do I do now bank has not been in touch with me.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

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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We can still exchange emails. Best wishes.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you for the advice, I signed a form when they took back the card, put a copy of the death certificate to them, told me someone would be in touch and the money would eventually come to me, was just wondering how long to wait for them to do this as no one has been in touch with me.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

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

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
do I have to get in touch with my own solicitor or go back to the bank first
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

You get the form from the bank 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.