Did you make a will with HSBC?

19th August 2015

In June 2015, HSBC sold their wills and probate business to a company called Simplify Channel Ltd. If you made a will with HSBC and appointed them as your executors, you may have received a letter asking you what you would like to do about executors now that the company has been sold.

HSBC customers have been advised as follows:

What do HSBC customers need to do?

With effect from the transfer date (which is expected to occur on 30 October 2015) HSBC will no longer offer an executorship service. Customers who previously appointed HSBC Trust Company (UK) Limited (HSBC) as an Executor of their Will are being asked to appoint an alternative Executor in place of HSBC. This is because although HSBC are transferring the probate business to Simplify, Simplify will not automatically become the new Executor of your Will unless you follow the instructions within the letter and decide to make Simplify the new executor.

You may be concerned what this means and what action you should now take. Shelly Wainwright, senior associate solicitor in the wills and probate team at Ansons Solicitors in Staffordshire, explains the situation in simple terms.

What are my options?

The letter from HSBC suggests three options:

  • to sign a codicil, which appoints Simplify as your executors
  • appoint someone else of your choice, such as a family member or a solicitor; or
  • revoke your will, by informing HSBC that your will is no longer valid.

Which option should I take?

This will depend on your individual situation and preferences. Is it important for you that your will is held locally, so that it would be easy to update if required? Do you feel comfortable that your will is held by an organisation in London that buys wills – or would you prefer a more personal service? In the event of your death, do you want to know exactly who will manage your estate on behalf of your loved ones?

Before you make a decision, we recommend that you call the team at Ansons. We can explain the pros and cons of each option clearly and advise on what is best for you.

Do I have to appoint Simplify as my executor?

You are under no obligation to appoint Simplify as your executor. It is worth noting that Simplify are not regulated by the Solicitor Regulation Authority, and therefore not subject to such a strict code of conduct as a law firm would be.

I have already signed the codicil – can I change my mind?

Do not worry if you have already signed and sent the codicil, and have had a change of heart.

Contact one of our wills and probate solicitors as soon as possible and we can prepare a further codicil to cancel the one you have signed, or make a new will.

For advice on any aspect of making a will or the HSBC letter, please contact Shelly Wainwright in the wills and probate team at Ansons Solicitors on 01543 267 984 or email

Ansons Solicitors have offices in Cannock and Lichfield.