You might have to deal with the will, money and property of the person who's died if you're a close friend or relative, or the executor of the will.

The person who died should have told all the executors where to find the original will and any updates, for example, it could be:

  • at their house
  • with a solicitor
  • at the London Probate Department - you’ll need the death certificate and evidence you’re the executor

Contact the solicitor concerning the will and inform him or her about the death. They will advise you or another executor what to do next.

If the deceased has a will, the executor or administrator will apply for a Grant of Probate. The grant is a legal document which confirms that the executor has the authority to deal with the deceased person’s assets (property, money and belongings). This is called 'administering the estate'.

The Executor uses the grant to show they have the right to access funds, sort out finances, and collect and share out the loved one’s assets as set out in the will. If there’s more than one will, only the most recent will is valid. Do not destroy any copies of earlier wills until you’ve received probate.

An executor only receives assets if they’re also named as a beneficiary.

If your loved one didn't leave a will, a close relative of the loved one can apply to the probate registry to deal with the estate. In this case they apply for a 'Grant of Letters of Administration'. If the grant is given, they are known as 'administrators' of the estate.


The Government has helpful advice about death and bereavement on its website.  Click here to download its document on dealing with wills and probate.