- I am a Personal Representative, what proof of identity and address do you need from me?
- What happens to joint accounts?
- What documentation do you need in order to close the accounts?
- When does HSBC need to see Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration?
- Why do you need to see original documents?
- Why do you freeze sole accounts?
- Why does HSBC need to see the will?
- What happens if there is no will?
- What happens if there is any safe keeping held?
- What happens if there are other HSBC products e.g. mortgage, investments held by the deceased customer?
- What should we do if all the Personal Representatives/Executors cannot come into the branch?
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
What happens to joint accounts?
Once we’ve seen the death certificate, we’ll automatically transfer the accounts into the name of the remaining account holders, unless there are any disputes over the estate.
The account number will remain the same and new cheque and paying in books will be ordered as required.
What documentation do you need in order to close the accounts?
Any joint accounts will convert into the names of the remaining account holders once the death has been confirmed.
For sole accounts, we need the following documents:
In all cases we'll need:
- formal conifmation of the death, such as an original or certified copy of the Death Certificate or the Coroner's Certificate. In some cases, we may be able to obtain this from the General Registry Office without the need to see the certificate
- one form of identification and one form of address verification if a personal representative does not already bank with HSBC. Please see Help Us Identify You for a complete list of acceptable documents
- a fully completed Closure Form. The personal representatives who signs the Closure Form takes responsibility to distribute the balance of the deceased's accounts
In some cases, we'll let you know if we also need to see:
- an original or certified copy of the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration
- an original or certified copy of the will
We reserve the right to ask for any further documents if required.
Our Bereavement Support Team will give you the Account Closure Forms once you've notified them. You can also find these on this page.
When does HSBC need to see Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration?
Probate is not required where all the deceased assets are held jointly with another person and where they pass automatically to the joint owner.
Where the value of the deceased assets held in their sole name is greater than £5,000 Probate may be required. Most financial institutions have individual discretionary limits for releasing assets without seeing the legal document.
At HSBC it’s important that we support you as an individual. Every case will be reviewed by one of our bereavement specialists and decisions will not be made solely on the value of the estate. If we’re notified of the death by a personal representative, either during a visit to one of our branches or by calling the Bereavement Support Team direct, we’ll be able to advise our requirements immediately and if we need to see Probate. If we’re notified by post we will confirm all our requirements in writing.
Note: Where the deceased owned a property in their sole name Probate will always be required before it can be sold or transferred.
Why do you need to see original documents?
Original documents contain inbuilt security features which help the Bank prevent any fraudulent claims being made against the estate.
Why do you freeze sole accounts?
The bank has a legal obligation to protect the deceased’s funds and assets against theft or fraud. Therefore the accounts are frozen and all Bank mandates, any third party mandates, appointments of guardian/deputy/receiver and Power of Attorney are cancelled upon notification of death.
Why would HSBC need to see the will?
We may need to see the will to ensure that we are dealing with the correct Personal Representative(s) of the deceased.
HSBC may close the deceased’s accounts without seeing the will. However, we reserve the right to ask to see it if needed.
What happens if there is no will?
If there is no will the Bank must follow the Laws of Intestacy and deal only with the immediate next of kin. This will usually be the surviving spouse/civil partner or any blood-related children.
To find out how the estate is distributed using the Laws of Intestacy, please see Distribution on Intestacy.
What happens if there is any safe keeping held?
We will provide details in a letter of the balances held at date of death and of any items held which is sent to the Personal Representative(s).
When closing the accounts, we will require release instructions and also arrange for the Personal Representative(s) to collect the safe keeping from a branch.
If a Personal Representative(s) requires access to inspect any safe keeping, please contact the branch to make arrangements to do so.
What happens if there are other HSBC products e.g. mortgage, investments held by the deceased customer?
Once we are notified of the death, we will advise all parts of the Bank who have a relationship with the customer of the death and provide the Personal Representative(s) with details of all the products with advice of our closure requirements.
What should we do if all the Personal Representatives/Executors cannot come into the branch?
If the Personal Representative(s) are not UK residents, the Identification and address confirmation documents must be certified by an Embassy, Consulate or High Commission from the country where the documents were issued and sent to us, either by visiting a local HSBC branch (in any country) or post documents to us at:
HSBC Bereavement Services
51 Saffron Road
- I need to know the balances so that I can apply for Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, how do I obtain these?
- How long will it take to release the balance?
- Can standing orders and Direct Debits continue from a sole account?
- Will credits still be accepted into a sole account?
- What can be paid from an account after you have been notified of the death, before it is closed?
- Can I pay the funeral bill from the deceased’s account?
- What happens if one or more account is overdrawn?
- Can you pay inheritance tax on behalf of the personal representatives?
I need to know the balances so that I can apply for Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, how do I obtain these?
A letter of the balances held at date of death will be issued to the Personal Representatives following receipt of the death certificate. This letter will include statements and tax certificates, as well as provide details of what we require in order to close the accounts.
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.
Can standing orders and Direct Debits continue from a sole account?
No. The account will be frozen when we are notified of the death and all standing order and Direct Debit mandates will be cancelled, which means that payments cannot continue.
We’ll cancel any Direct Debits or standing orders – including utility bills, mortgage or loan payments and home insurance. If any of these payments need to continue, you’ll need to contact the companies concerned to agree new payments from a different 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.
What can be paid from an account after you have been notified of the death, before it is closed?
Where sufficient funds are available, we can help you by paying the funeral bill, wake and flowers, any probate fees and inheritance tax (subject to limits). For more details, please contact our Bereavement Support Team on 0345 850 0088, who are available Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 6pm and Saturdays from 9am to 2pm (excluding bank holidays), or visit your local branch.
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).
What happens if one or more account is overdrawn?
Upon notification of death, any account with an outstanding debit balance will need to be repaid. If the estate is solvent, then the Personal Representative must authorise us to deduct any amount from credit balances held on the other accounts.
Where there are insufficient funds on other accounts, any outstanding amounts will need to be paid from the estate.
Can you pay inheritance tax on behalf of the personal representatives?
Yes. We can pay inheritance tax on your behalf.
The Personal Representative(s), who are applying for Grant of Probate, will need to complete and sign an HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) form IHT 423 and include the unique HMRC reference number. This is obtained from HMRC.
Once we receive the completed form, we will make the payment direct to HMRC.
Note: We need to have seen the death certificate and know the name(s) of the Personal Representative(s).
Letting us know
0800 085 1992
or +44 (0)114 252 0249 if you're calling from outside the UK
* Lines are open 8:30am to 6pm, Monday to Friday and Saturdays 9am to 2pm (excluding public holidays).
Notify us online
You can inform us of a bereavement online.
Visit us in branch
Write to us
You can send documents to:
HSBC Bereavement Services
51 Saffron Road