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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Customer contact and data security: telephone contact: sensitive call handling: deceased cases

Please remember the need to treat family members or next of kin with sensitivity.

When someone dies, whether they have left a will or not, their estate enters a period of administration. During the period of administration the ‘personal representative’ is responsible for finalising the affairs of the estate and it is only this person to whom confidential information about the affairs of the deceased should be disclosed. In this guidance the term ‘personal representative’ is used to encompass both executors and administrators.

Before a personal representative can deal with the affairs of the deceased they must first obtain legal authority to do so.

If an agent or other person was acting on behalf of the deceased prior to their death, for example through a power of attorney or consent (such as a form 64-8) you may no longer disclose confidential information to these third parties. If the personal representatives wish these third parties to continue to act they must provide a fresh consent.

Remember once you have confirmed you are speaking to the correct person please follow the guidance for your office, your role and the Head of Duty for a deceased case.

For further information, if appropriate, please see DMBM585250 on deceased customers.

Note: Because bereavement can be a very difficult time, the Department has created a dedicated phone helpline and address box for people who need to contact HMRC about PAYE and Self Assessment matters relating to bereavement and is targeted at customers who do not have accountants or solicitors acting on their behalf.

Where possible you should deal with the case but can give this helpline phone number where the PAYE / SA customer needs further assistance/help in this situation.

The Bereavement Helpline can be contacted on 0300 200 3300 from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 4pm on Saturdays.