Interim Death Certificate

I’ve just had a gentleman in whose wife recently died and no Grant of Probate is required. He just had a Statutory Declaration for me to sign for him. During conversation he mentioned that all the banks have said that they will not release any money until the full death certificate was available. He only has an interim certificate. Is this correct and has anyone heard of it before? It seems rather unfair for banks to hold money for a period which could potentially be 6-8 months. While I understand life companies often want the full death certificate, for obvious reasons, I cannot understand the banks reasoning unless my client has got the wrong end of the stick.

Christopher Matthews
Churchers Bolitho Way

I have managed to get quite a lot of information from banks using a coroner’s interim death certificate – and have even managed to close bank accounts. You are right – the life insurance company were not willing to pay out when the cause of death was “undetermined”. Where the interim death certificate cites several causes of death but none is suspicious (one being a hospital acquired infection that required further investigation), I have not had any problems at all.

Perhaps the banks are being uncharacteristically cautious, in case the death was from causes that are suspicious in some way?

Vicky Burdett
Parchment Law Group LLP