Surrey Registration Service Bereavement Guide

Probate, property and possessions (their estate)

When someone dies, somebody must organise his or her estate. This person is known as the personal representative (also known as the executor if they are named as such in the will). It is important to find out if the deceased left a will, and if so, who the executor is. The will says what should happen to the deceased’s money, property and possessions (known as the estate). The personal representative is responsible for paying all the deceased’s debts, taxes and expenses. They make the payments from the estate, not from their own income or savings. Only when these duties are finished, can the personal representative share out to the people entitled to it, the rest of the estate. Please note: if a person has power of attorney for someone, this ends at the time of death. If you are the personal representative, you may have to apply for probate. The Probate office will give you a “Grant of Probate” if the deceased left a will, or grant “Letters of Administration” if there is no will. You can download the forms with notes and guidance on what you need to do from the inheritance tax and probate process section of the HM Revenues and Customs website, www.gov.uk/ wills-probate-inheritance. You can now access Probate Records to obtain a copy Will or Grant at www.gov.uk/search-will-probate.

Winchester is the nearest District Probate Registry to Surrey. It is open to the public from Monday to Friday between 9:30am and 4:00pm with appointments offered between 10:00am and 3:30pm, depending on demand. Other offices can be found by using a search browser. The Winchester District Probate Office is located at: 1 st Floor Winchester Hampshire SO23 9EL Telephone: 01962 814100 Website: www.courttribunalfinder.service.gov.uk/courts/ winchester-district-probate-registry For more information or assistance, the HMRC Probate and Inheritance Tax Helpline number is 0300 123 1072. Southside Offices The Law Courts Additional information can be found by visiting the Wills, probate and inheritance information at www.gov.uk/wills-probate-inheritance. If you have any difficulty in dealing with the deceased’s estate or guardianship of their children, you should get advice from a solicitor or the Citizens Advice Bureau as soon as possible. You may already have a solicitor your family uses. If not, ask friends and family if they can recommend one. When you contact them, remember to ask about their fees and charges.

BEREAVEMENT GUIDE 4

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