Dealing with bereavement

Back to Overview

Obtaining the will

A will contains the last wishes of a person who has died, in particular about who they want to inherit their estate.

You'll need to find the last known signed and witnessed version of the will. If you can't find a will at the deceased's home, it's a good idea to ask their solicitor, bank, or financial advisor if they have it.

A will usually names one or more executors who will be responsible for dealing with the administration of the deceased's estate.

What happens if there isn't a will?

If someone dies without making a will or you're unable to locate a signed will, they are said to have died 'intestate'.

The law on who will inherit the estate will vary depending on where the deceased lived and in some circumstances, their religion.

In England and Wales, the Laws of Intestacy apply and the person who will inherit the estate is the next of kin – usually their husband, wife, civil partner or their child/children. You may find this 'Who can inherit?' flow chart useful. Unmarried partners are not considered next of kin. In Scotland, the rules are different and the Rights of Succession apply.

To find out more about what to do if there is no will visit: www.gov.uk/wills-probate-inheritance/if-the-person-didnt-leave-a-will. There you'll find a simple online tool that takes into account the deceased person's situation and guides you to the correct information.

Alternatively, you can contact our Bereavement Support Team on 0345 850 0088.

Letting us know

Call us

0800 085 1992*

or +44 (0)114 252 0249 if you're calling from outside the UK.

Notify online

You can inform us of a bereavement online

Notify now

General enquiries

0345 850 0088

Find your nearest branch

Find branch

Write to us

You can send documents to:

District Service Centre
HSBC Bank plc
Harry Weston Road
Binley
Coventry
CV3 2TQ

Bereavement guide

Download now

* Lines are open 8:30am to 6pm, Monday to Friday and Saturdays 9am to 2pm (excluding public holidays).

Our top 5 FAQs

  1. What documentation do you need in order to close the accounts?
    What documentation do you need in order to close the accounts?

    We will need to see the following original documents:

    • Death certificate
    • Will (if one exists)
    • Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration (if applicable)
    • ID&VA for any Personal Representatives who are not HSBC customers – please see Help Us Identify You for a complete list of acceptable documents.

    We will also require a completed Payment Authorisation Form or forms signed by all the Personal Representatives.

  2. How long will it take to release the balance?
    How long will it take to release the balance?

    Once we have received the correct documentation, where there is only current and savings accounts, we will combine all the balances and release the funds within ten working days. Where there are other products, this may take longer and we will advise you of this separately within a letter of the balances held at date of death.

    If we are aware that a dispute exists over the estate, we will not be able to release the funds until we have seen the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.

  3. Can I pay the funeral bill from the deceased’s account?
    Can I pay the funeral bill from the deceased’s account?

    Yes. We will be able to pay the funeral bill for you once we have seen the death certificate and you provide us the funeral bill.

    If the bill is an estimate, we will be able to pay the deposit once we have seen the death certificate.

    If you have already paid the funeral bill from your own account, we may be able to reimburse you once we have seen the death certificate, the funeral bill and proof of payment.

    If sufficient funds are not available, we can make a partial payment, to the value of the funds held, with written confirmation from the Personal Representative(s).

  4. I am a Personal Representative, what proof of identity and address do you need from me?
    I am a Personal Representative, what proof of identity and address do you need from me?

    For a complete list of the acceptable documents as proof of identity and confirmation of address please see Help Us Identify You.

  5. Will credits still be accepted into a sole account?
    Will credits still be accepted into a sole account?

    Yes. We are able to continue to receive credits into an account after we have been notified of the death. Please bear in mind, some credits may be re-claimed, e.g. state pension.