If you have made your will with HSBC then it is highly likely that you appointed the bank or its Trust Company as your executors.
Earlier this year, HSBC sold their wills and probate business to Simplify Channel Ltd (Simplify), who are based in London.
This means that HSBC are no longer able to act as your executors.
HSBC have recently been writing to its affected customers to provide them with three options:
1. To appoint Simplify to act as their new executors;
2. To appoint alternative executors such as a solicitor or family/friends, or;
3. Revoke the will.
Simplify cannot act as your new executors without a change to your existing will.
If no action is taken and no substitute executors are named in your will, then you will not have anyone appointed to administer your estate in accordance with your wishes.
Many customers will, no doubt, have named HSBC as their professional executors to ensure their last wishes would be carried out by a trusted financial institution after their death.
However you should be aware that Simplify are not regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, meaning you are left with little means of redress if things go wrong. Also they do not have local branches, which could present difficulties if you require a face to face meeting.
We would strongly advise you to carry out research on Simplify (along with parent company Chorus Law Group Ltd and its former company ITC Legal Services) before deciding if you wish to appoint them as your new executors.
You should consider if it would be easier and more cost effective to appoint a local firm of solicitors to be your executors, so that your loved ones can avoid any difficulties in the event of your death.
It is very important for anyone who appointed HSBC Trust Company as their executors to seek immediate advice from an independent firm of solicitors.
At Elmhirst Parker, we are offering clients a free initial appointment to discuss their options and provide impartial advice on the matter.
Please contact your nearest Elmhirst Parker office to make an appointment.