Introduction

If someone you know has died with outstanding debts, you can use our free letter template to tell creditors about the death and ask them to write the debt off. It can be a difficult time after the death of a loved one, but we want to make it a little bit easier with our free letter template to write off debt after death.

Download our template, insert some details about the account and the death and send it to their creditor. You should hopefully hear back from the creditor soon after, explaining that they have written off the debt. 

Letter Template

To Whom It May Concern

Regarding Case #: [your case number]* (required)

I am writing to you about the above account, which [enter the name of the person who has died and include their address so that the creditor can identify them.]* (required) owed.

[enter the name of the person who has died.]* (required) passed away on [enter date of death]* (required). I enclose a copy of their death certificate. They didn’t leave behind any assets and there is no money to pay what they owe.

[you could include a paragraph about the deceased person’s circumstances. for example, if they were living in rented accommodation and were receiving only benefit income. this may help to confirm to the creditor that they did not leave behind any assets.]* (required)

Please consider writing off this debt because there is no prospect of you ever recovering any money towards it. Please write back to me to confirm your decision

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely


Downloadable Resource

The download links below take you to a Google document template where you can make a copy or save in any document format you like. Note, you may have to login to your Google account.

Download – Single (for one person)
Download – Joint (for couples)

When a person dies does the debt die with them?

If someone dies with debt, the debt has to be paid off with money left within the person’s estate. For example, if someone dies with a credit card debt of £500 and leaves behind £5,000 in their will, £500 of the estate will need to be used to pay off the debt. The executor of the will is responsible for paying back the debt.

However, some creditors will write the debt off without asking for the money. Sending a letter asking the creditor to write off the debt is a good idea. It is essential if the deceased died without leaving money to pay their debts. 

Is family responsible for deceased debt?

Family members of the deceased are not directly responsible for paying back the debt unless it was a joint debt with the deceased person. For example, if a married couple took out a loan and one of the pair died, the other would still be responsible for the debt. But debt cannot be passed through the family in any other way.

Do I have to notify creditors of death?

It is the responsibility of the executor of the will to notify creditors of the death. Once you have told them about the death, it is usual practice for the creditor to back off and give you time to arrange the estate before offering them a debt repayment. Don’t assume they do not want to be repaid. They will still expect to receive the money if it has been left behind. 

If the executor of the will fails to notify a creditor of the death, and thus pays out the estate without paying back the debt, the creditor could then chase the executor for the debt. 

Remember to look for lost bank accounts

There might not look like there is an estate left behind to pay back the debt, but to be sure and to protect yourself as the executor of the will, you should look for lost savings. My Lost Account is one website that is known to help people locate lost bank and savings accounts. Give it a try before telling creditors that there is nothing for you to pay back on the deceased’s behalf. 

About the author

Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson is a financial services expert, with over 10 years’ experience in the industry, including 6 years in FCA regulated companies. Read more
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