Is there a Will?


If you believe there may be a Will, it is important to check to see if the person left any specific instructions with regards to the funeral and whether they wished to be interred or cremated before making any arrangements with us.

Do you need a Grant of Probate?

When a person dies, someone has to deal with their estate by collecting in all the money, paying any debts and distributing the estate to those entitled to it. The term ‘Probate’ often means the issuing of a legal document to one or more people authorising them to do this.

The Probate Registry issues the document which is called a ‘Grant of Representation’. There are three types of Grant:

  • Probate issued to one or more of the executors (e.g. people named in the Will to deal with the estate)
  • Letters of Administration issued when there is a Will but no executor has been named, or when the executors are unable to apply or do not wish to be involved in dealing with the Estate.
  • Letters of Administration issued when the deceased has not made a Will or the Will is not valid.

What is its purpose?

A Grant is a document issued by the Court which enables the person/s named to deal with assets and belongings of the deceased. It allows money in banks and building societies to be collected, property to be sold or transferred and debtors to be paid.

Is a Grant needed in all cases?

No. Certain organisations may release monies held if the amount is small. Also where a joint Bank or building society account is held, production of a Death Certificate may be sufficient for the monies to be transferred to the joint holder. Where a property is held in joint names and is passed by survivorship to the other joint owner, it may not be necessary to obtain a Grant.

However, if the above circumstances do not apply or if the organisation concerned informs you that a Grant is required, please contact the Probate Registry for further information.

Winchester District Probate Registry
4th Floor Cromwell House
Andover Road
SO23 7EW

Telephone 01962 897029

Staff at Probate Registries can offer procedural guidance on how to obtain a Grant but they cannot provide legal advice.

Note: Form PA2
‘How to Obtain Probate – A guide for the applicant without a Solicitor’ – forms part of the package provided to applicants when applying for probate from the above address. It is also available on the Court Service internet site. The website address is Click on Forms and Guidance and you will find Wills and Probate towards the end of the list.

Useful Telephone Numbers

Probate and Inheritance Tax Helpline 030 0123 1072
Portsmouth Citizens Advice Office 034 4411 1306

For further advice please call 023 9282 4831 for our Portsmouth
branch or call 023 9226 9000 for our Waterlooville branch

Funeral services

Barrells Funeral Directors are a proud Member of the Society of Allied & Independent Funeral Directors