Why am I doing the job of my deceased partner’s bank?

Q: My civil partner died and his bank account was closed - why am I having to chase up his money?

After a short illness, I lost my civil partner, Rob, last August. I sent the death certificate to his bank, which froze and then finally closed his account with them. We are theatre lovers and so had several tickets booked over the next 18 months. I managed to secure a cancellation and a refund, however, as they were bought using my partner’s bank card, the money was returned to the closed account.

I notified the bank straight away and requested the money was returned to me as executor and sole beneficiary of Rob’s estate. But I was told I couldn’t track the money unless I specified exact amounts - but I can’t trace this information as the bank is closed.

Sadly, the bank is insisting on this, but I can’t help thinking this is their job to trace the money and hand it over. I’m worried if I can’t prove the transaction, and if so, will I lose my money?

A: What a shame to hear how you’ve had to jump through hoops while grieving your loss

It appears the bank should have returned the money to you without delay, and it is unfair that a bank should expect you to have to trace your own funds - especially as they closed the account.

Since writing, we’ve heard that you have successfully secured the £1,000 due in refunds and other costs, plus you were able to get £175 in compensation from the bank.

Banks are improving the ways in which they deal with bereavement, but there is still a long way to go. Well done on getting the paperwork all in place in the first place - without this you would have had an even longer battle on your hands.

It really is so important to make sure your will and Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) documents are up to date as this can save your family a huge headache - even in cases like this where the bank has fallen foul.

For any further information about wills and LPAs, contact Downs Solicitors to see how we can help.


Liz Dalgetty

Liz Dalgetty

Consultant Solicitor & Notary Public

Tel: +44 (0) 1306 502251

Office: Dorking Office

Email: [email protected]