We finally have managed to get a UK national savings certificate worth about £40k that was in my father's name only transferred to my mother's name. My father died almost ten years ago. The truth is though that we didn't start trying to fix this till recently. My brother dealt with getting a lawyer etc. to complete the UK probate and get this sorted out. They wouldn't accept the inheritance documents from the country where my father died...
But now we have the problem of what to do with the certificate. They will only allow us to cash it out if we transfer the money to a bank in the UK. But my mother's bank, Lloyds (which I was once a customer of too*) is extremely difficult to deal with, even though my brother has a power of attorney. In my brother's words:
"the people in the branch don't really care and the call center is worse. They all stick very closely to the letter of their regulations. I have a limited power of signature there. They don't respect faxes, generally ignore letters, don't use email... in short useless. The problem appears to be that it is a regular banking account and they are not set up to work internationally. When I tried to make a transfer of GBP 700 to the UK lawyer for the probate they said I could only do it if a came into the branch, so I did it in the end from UBS..."
They'll only do anything if they talk to my mother on the phone but then they will likely decide that she is incompetent... So even closing the account seems impossible. To complicate things further, my mother still has a small pension that is paid into this account.
So it looks like we will keep the certificate renewing in her name now.
* My first bank account was with Lloyds. I entered some competition where they opened an account with £10 in it. That was back in 1983 I think. I got rid of the account some time around 1997 probably and no longer have any financial connection to the UK.