It was really helpful and so I knew about it when my father died in February of this year. But with Dad being the last one to leave, it made things more complicated – there was obviously a lot more to sort out. With Mum, it was more about removing her name from their joint accounts but when we lost Dad, we obviously had a lot of accounts to close down and reconcile, and sort out the probate.
I don’t know what I would have done without this service. I imagine I would have had to spend hours trawling through websites, trying to find the right numbers to call, and being shunted about from one department to another. Mum died in the early stages of the COVID-19 lockdown and so life was quite difficult anyway. Being able to sort out everything through a quick conversation with one person at the DNS was a huge relief. Waiting times on phone lines then were probably even worse and I couldn’t have visited branches in person to request changes.
From my two interactions at the beginning and the end of the COVID crisis, the DNS didn’t seem to be affected by any of the disruption going on around it. The service was smooth and professional, but also friendly.
As well as saving me from having to make multiple calls, the DNS also prevented the hassle of having to get multiple copies of documents such as the death certificate, or risk other important documents getting lost in the post.
I also used the Government’s Tell Us Once Service, which covers pensions, council tax etc. By using the DNS to cover all my parents’ financial accounts as well, I just about covered everything. The only other ones I had to contact were utilities companies (which I believe are in discussions to join the DNS) and an obscure personal pension that I wouldn’t have expected to have been covered.