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Bereavement: Mortgages

If the deceased had a mortgage with us, it’s really important to remember that the monthly payments should be made so the account doesn’t fall into arrears. If that’s going to be difficult please contact our Credit Management team on 0345 850 1766 who will talk you through the options.

You also need to make sure any buildings insurance is kept in place. Once you’ve registered the death with us, we can help you with the next steps.

Notify us of a bereavement

The first thing you’ll need to do is to notify us of the bereavement. This is so we can start to get everything in order.

Notify us

Find out what happens to different accounts

If the mortgage was only in the name of the deceased, they’re known as the sole borrower. This means the mortgage is a debt of their estate and must be repaid in full. The money to do this usually comes from a life policy, the estate, or from selling the property.

We can’t release full information about the mortgage to you until we’ve seen the original Grant of Probate, Letters of Administration or Certificate of Confirmation.

However, we can let you know the balance and monthly payment amount so you can seek Probate and continue to make the mortgage payments. To get this information (which will be sent to the mortgaged address) you’ll need to show us the original death certificate, the original coroner’s interim certificate or a solicitor’s death certificate verification form.

We can’t transfer the mortgage to anyone else. If you’re a beneficiary, you or someone else can apply for a new mortgage for the property, but we can’t guarantee to accept the application, which would be subject to affordability and lending criteria.

If the mortgage was in the name of the deceased with one or more other people, they are known as a joint borrower. There are two ways joint property can be held (joint tenants or tenants in common), and what happens to the property differs for each.

If you're the joint borrower and you're unsure how the property was held, we'll be able to let you know what is indicated in our records. If you need any advice about how the property was held, you will need to see legal advice.

Joint tenants

The deceased borrower's share of the property will automatically transfer to the other joint tenant and your loved one’s name will be taken off the mortgage (unless they were bankrupt, in which case their share doesn’t pass to the other borrower – it passes to the trustee in bankruptcy). You don’t need a Grant of Probate for this to happen – just the death certificate, which you should also register at the Land Registry to remove your loved one from the property title.

Tenants in common

The share of the property belonging to the deceased won’t transfer automatically to the other joint borrower(s). Instead, it will pass according to the instructions they left in their Will. If there is no Will, the property will be passed on according to the rules of intestacy (rules that come into effect when someone dies without leaving a Will).

To make a claim on any life assurance policies, you’ll need to get in touch with the policy provider. If the policy is linked to a Skipton mortgage, we’ll deal with the claim once you have a Grant of Probate, Letters of Administration or Certificate of Confirmation. We’ll then use the proceeds to reduce or repay the mortgage account.

If a policy is held through Skipton and it is in the sole name of the person who’s passed away, it will stop. For joint policies held through Skipton, we’ll let you know what the next steps are. If the mortgage payment protection insurance is not with Skipton, please contact the provider for next steps.

It’s really important you make sure the property’s protected until the mortgage is repaid. If the policy is only in the deceased’s name, you need to transfer it to the names of the personal representatives to ensure the cover continues. If the buildings insurance is with Skipton, we can help you with the next steps once you’ve registered the death.

If this insurance isn’t with us, you’ll need to contact the provider directly. Please remember that if the property is empty for more than 30 days, most buildings insurance will lapse. You might need a solicitor or a specialist broker to help you set up a policy that’s suitable for empty properties.

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