What to do after a bereavement

We want to make the process as clear and simple as possible. The steps below can help you understand what you or your representative (such as your solicitor or financial adviser) should do after a loved one passes away.

Our step-by-step process

1. Let us know

You can inform us of a bereavement by letter, email or telephone. Call charges may vary.

Anyone can notify us of a death, but we can only provide more details once we have received official written confirmation and/or the Registrar’s certified copy of the death certificate*. The person can also nominate someone else for us to share information with, if required.

  • Call: 0345 300 4177 if the deceased didn't have a financial adviser, or you're unsure
  • Call: 0345 600 2399 if the deceased had a financial adviser
  • Write to: Elevate, PO Box 6891, Basingstoke, RG24 4SN
  • Email us at: elevate_enquiries@standardlife.com. Email communication is not encrypted or secure and it could be intercepted and read. Please do not include any personal or confidential information in any message.

We will need to ask you some questions when you call, or if you're sending a letter or email, please include the following information:

  • Date of death
  • Your name
  • Your postal address
  • Best daytime contact telephone number
  • Relationship to account holder
  • Was there a Will left? (If so then we will require the original or certified Will - as per certification requirements)
  • If a Will was left please can you also confirm the Executors name & Address & Contact telephone number? (if different to yours)
  • Do you know if Probate will be applied for?

If you have it, please provide the Elevate account number (e.g. EL0123456).

* We require to see the Registrar's certified copy of the death certificate. These are issued by the Registrar.

We'll return any original documents and the Registrar’s certified copies to you in the post by recorded delivery as quickly as possible.

2. We'll confirm what you need to do next

Depending on your communication preference, we will send you a letter or email from within five working days of us receiving the official confirmation.

Once we've received all necessary information and documents, we'll let you know the options available to you. These options will differ depending on the product (Elevate General Investment Account (GIA), Elevate Stocks & Shares Individual Savings Account (ISA) or Elevate Pension Investment Account (PIA)).

We'll then issue a valuation of the deceased's Elevate account(s) as at the date of death.

3. Provide us with the right information and documents

If you face any issues when trying to access documents or send them to us, you should phone us for more support.

Before we're able to release any money held in the deceased’s Elevate account, you'll need to provide us with some or all of the following information and documents.

When sending documents, please include a return address so they can be returned to you. We'll return any original documents and Registrar’s certified copies to you in the post by recorded delivery as quickly as possible.

Please see our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for further information and to help you confirm which documents you may need to send to us.

Information we'll need from you: Documents you may need to provide:
  • Deceased’s full name, date of birth and address
  • Relationship to the deceased of the person notifying us of the bereavement (e.g. spouse/civil partner, executor, solicitor)
  • Contact details of the personal representative/solicitor so we can contact them if required.
  • Registrar's certified copy of the Death Certificate*
  • Original or a certified (on all pages) photocopy of the Will (see our FAQ for who can and how to certify that they’ve seen the original)
  • Original Grant of Probate (or Certificate of Confirmation), or Letter of Administration

* It's important the death certificate is the Registrar's certified copy of the Death Certificate. These are issued by the Registrar.

4. Let us know your preferred option and we’ll carry out your instructions

Once we have been provided with the appropriate documentation, we will act as instructed by the Executors or Legal Personal Representative for the deceased. Please be aware that we will only provide information directly to the person(s) that provides us with an original Death Certificate.

Answers to common questions

What happens next?


For Elevate GIA and ISA

Option 1: Transfer into an Elevate GIA

If you have inherited the deceased's GIA, you have the option to transfer the investments into your Elevate GIA.

Option 2: Apply for an additional permitted ISA subscription (for deceased's spouse/civil partner only)

If you're the deceased's spouse or civil partner, you can apply for an additional permitted subscription. This means you can pay in an amount equal to the value of the deceased's ISA (as at the date of death or when the ISA is closed), in addition to your own annual ISA subscription.

Option 3: Receive the money (encashment)

The investments can be sold and the money paid into a nominated bank account. An encashment form will need to be completed, which we can send you.


Pension Investment Account (PIA)

The investments will be sold when we receive written confirmation of the deceased’s passing. The money (cash) can either be paid as a lump sum or in some circumstances provide an income. There are a variety of options available, we’ll contact you to discuss these further.

If you are applying for Grant of Probate, Certificate of Confirmation (Scotland) or Letters of Administration, please advise us and confirm who is acting as Executor. In some circumstances we may require sight of the original document before payment can be made.

If you have a financial adviser, please contact them to discuss the options available to you, otherwise, please get in touch with us.

How long does it take for investments to be sold to cash (encashment)?

Encashment usually takes 8-10 working days if we’ve received all required information and documentation.

How long do transfers to another Elevate account take?

Transfers can take up to 30 working days to complete.

When is a Grant of Probate (or Certificate of Confirmation) or Letters of Administration (no Will) needed?

We’ll usually need a Grant of Representation (Probate) or Letter of Administration if the estate:

  • was held by the deceased only (not held in joint names)
  • includes land, property or shares (investments)

Where you are not applying for Probate, we're able to settle accounts using small claims on values of £75,000 and under for the Elevate GIA and ISA.

Which documents can be certified and by whom, and how can they be certified?

The only document which we can accept a certified copy of is listed below:

  • Will

Unfortunately we can't accept certified photocopies of the Registrar's certified copy of the death certificate, Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.

As per Government guidance here to certify a document you can ask a professional person or someone well-respected in your community ('of good standing') such as a:

  • Financial adviser (regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority)
  • Chartered Accountant
  • Bank or Building Society official (e.g. counter staff, manager etc.)*
  • Barrister Civil Servant (permanent)
  • Commissioner of Oaths Councillor (Local or County)
  • General Practitioner (GP), Consultant or Medical Professional
  • Justice of the Peace Member of Parliament
  • Minister of a recognised religion
  • Nurse (NHS)
  • Notary Officer of the Armed Services (active)
  • Police or Customs Officer
  • Postmaster or Sub Postmaster
  • Social worker
  • Solicitor
  • Teacher or lecturer.

*This means documents are certified at a branch of a bank or building society.

We require the certifier to have seen the original and to write the following phrase and information below on each page of the document they're certifying:

  • 'I certify this to be a true copy of the original'
  • Signature of certifier
  • Full name of certifier (must be readable)
  • Position/job title
  • Employer’s name and address (must be readable)
  • Date.

We cannot accept certified copies (e.g. a Will) by anyone who’s:

  • related to you
  • living at the same address
  • in a relationship with you.

Can the deceased’s financial adviser act on my behalf?

If you wish to continue paying financial adviser charges from the deceased's Elevate account, a new Adviser Charges Agreement will need to be completed and returned to us. Ask your financial adviser or contact us to arrange.

What happens to any regular transactions on the deceased’s Elevate account (such as direct credits/debits)?

We'll arrange to stop further transactions taking place including regular payments in/out of the account.

What happens if the Elevate account is a joint account?

We'll transfer the investments held in the joint account to an individual account and contact you to discuss this.

How will payments from the deceased's Elevate account be made?

We'll pay the money into a bank account, nominated by the executor/personal representative. We’ll pay this by bank transfer (electronic payment).

What happens to a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is no longer valid if the account holder has passed away. If you were appointed as an attorney by the deceased you can no longer rely on the Power of Attorney to access the deceased’s Elevate accounts or conduct any other transactions on their be half.