In the event of the death of an investor the loan contracts still stand but the benefit passes first to the estate of the deceased and then, if appropriate, on to the ultimate beneficiary. The value of the portfolio is calculated on the date of death as the total capital outstanding plus any funds not yet loaned out. Once Zopa are informed and sent a certified copy of the death certificate we would stop the account from lending more funds and provide details of the account to the administrator or executor. Before any financial changes can be made to the account we would require a certified copy of the Grant of Probate for our records.
Zopa will continue to recover repayments and interest earned on existing loans for the benefit of the deceased lenders estate, until we are permitted to distribute the funds as instructed by the executor, which can be monthly, quarterly etc as agreed with the executor. This process continues until the outstanding loans are fully repaid or otherwise come to an end. Be aware the continuing receipt of interest on existing loans may give rise to a tax liability and the executor will need to address this with Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs or other tax authority as appropriate. Unfortunately, we cannot recover funds that are still on loan to borrowers and not due to be repaid yet; in order to retrieve these funds, the executor, administrator or ultimate beneficiary would need to allow the repayments to accrue within the holding account, before withdrawal.
There is an option to sell the portfolio of loans, for a 1% fee, rather than wait for them to be repaid over time. This can be done through our Rapid Return facility although there are certain restrictions to this policy, which can be found here. If the executor wishes to utilise the Rapid Return facility, upon receipt of satisfactory evidence and compliance with any other Zopa requirements, the personal representative will be permitted to utilise the Rapid Return facility on behalf of the account holder's estate. The standard conditions for this facility apply and any loans that cannot be transferred will continue to run their course; the representative will have access to the funds as and when they are available.
Zopa is unable to change the name on a lender's account as the agreement itself cannot be transferred into another individual's name. A lender is however able to make a request in their Will to leave the funds in their Zopa account and proceeds to a particular individual, although this will be subject to the laws of probate. The important things to consider are how they want the available funds at the date of death to be administered as well as any monies not yet due, i.e. capital outstanding on active loan contracts and the expected interest and repayments on them.
In both cases the more explicit the instructions the better (i.e. who the recipients are and how much each should receive) as we have a duty to act in strict accordance with the individual's Will. In order to meet your wishes, we would simply require the appropriate documentation from your nominated solicitor to carry out these requests. Once probate is completed and we have the relevant documentation we would then deal directly with the beneficiary.