The government scheme ‘ Tell us Once’ is designed to help bereaved families navigate their way through the difficulties of reporting someone’s death to a whole range of government bodies. ‘Tell us Once ‘ – allows you to cancel benefits, passports, council tax, inform the electoral roll and HMRC all at the same time, preventing a lot of painful and time consuming administration. Why then has it taken so long for banks, buildings societies and utility companies to set up a similar scheme for bereaved relatives?
More and more people who have dealt with the accounts of a family member, after their death, are sadly reporting that banks and other financial instutions are often obstructive and insensitive, causing unnecessary distress and, in some instances, financial problems for bereaved relatives. The rise in complaints has prompted journalists at Money Mail to start a campaign for a ‘ Tell us Once’ scheme for banks, financial institutions and utility companies, which was further reinforced by the dreadful experience of one of their reporters following her mother’s death.
The aim of the campaign is not just to improve the process of dealing with someone’s personal finances after death but also to improve staff training so that there are dedicated teams which understand how to deal sensitively with relatives. While some banks, building societies and utility companies, are backing the scheme there is still something of a mountain to climb.