Make it easier for families to close the accounts of a loved one who dies

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At the end of last year we lost our mother-in-law and grandma. While we were grieving her death, we also experienced the pain of trying to close down all her accounts (utilities, banking, phone, broadband, TV licence, insurance, subscription services etc) which are not covered by the UK Government’s ‘Tell us Once' service. It took us over 6 weeks, with multiple calls and emails to each service provider, to get everything sorted. Some companies demanded to see a death certificate before closing an account. Others required additional proof and paperwork. During a difficult time, it was an unnecessary and stressful burden. 

Like us, more than 600,000 families across the UK struggle with the death of a loved one each year and will face the same unfortunate task. With more lives tragically claimed in 2020 by the Coronavirus pandemic, now is the time to make this process easier.

We are calling on the government to introduce a new set of agreed standards which commercial service providers would need to meet, making it easier to close down the accounts of someone who dies. 

The Bereavement Standard would establish:

  1. An agreed timeframe for companies to respond to bereavement enquiries and settle outstanding customer balances.
  2. A bereavement customer care email channel for each company, to directly handle such cases and avoid customers waiting on calls.
  3. The standardisation of paperwork needed to close an account, with a view to accepting digital documents whenever possible. 

The Bereavement Standard will make it easier for families going through a difficult time. 

This petition is supported by Cruse Bereavement Care and Sue Ryder.

Please sign our campaign, and help us to help others.*

*As mother and daughter, we’ve since gone on to build an account closure service - Settld - to tackle the issues we faced and make death administration simpler for others. In 2020 we won two Covid Relief UK Government Innovation Grants to make this possible and keep our service free for families. Find out more in our BBC One BBC Rip Off Britain TV appearance here. Thanks to everyone who has helped us get this far, both in the support of the petition and the Settld platform. Please contact if you'd like to get in touch. We're here to help.