Thousands sign death admin petition

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image captionThere is no system for informing multiple companies about a death

A woman calling for it to be simpler to close loved ones' bank and utility accounts after they die says families currently face "an unnecessary and stressful burden".

Vicky Wilson, 33, of Easington, County Durham, spent six weeks trying to close her late grandmother's utility, bank and subscription accounts.

She has set up a petition calling for the rules to be changed.

It has so far been signed by 23,000 people.

Ms Wilson said the process currently involved waiting in phone queues for hours and responding to multiple requests for documents.

She and her mother want the government to introduce a time limit for account closures and to standardise required paperwork.

The Tell us Once and Death Notification services allow bereaved families to notify multiple government bodies, public organisation, banks and building societies at the same time.

But there is no equivalent for private companies.

Ms Wilson has founded Settld, an online account closure service which has received a Covid-19 government grant.

She said the situation had been made worse by the coronavirus pandemic as businesses were struggling with reduced staffing.

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