Probate registry office

Coronavirus: Important information

Death registrations are carried out by telephone appointment. If the death occurred in Surrey you can register the death over the telephone by making a death registration appointment.

Unless the death has been referred to the coroner, it is a legal requirement to register the death within five days.

When a person dies, someone has to 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 the rest of the estate to the people entitled to it.

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 you need with notes and guidance on what you need to do by visiting the Wills, probate and inheritance information on the website or telephone the Probate and Inheritance Tax Helpline on 0300 123 1072.