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 (PDF) 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 the government website guidance page. 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.

This is step 3 of 6 outlined on the overview page

Letting us know

Call us

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).

General enquiries

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


LE18 4AG 

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