In June 2015, HSBC sold their Probate business to a company called Simplify Channel Limited (Simplify). If you are worried about a letter you have already received from HSBC or if you think you should have received a letter from them then please get in touch with us to discuss your options.
The letter gives you two options:
1. To sign a Codicil which removes HSBC as your Executors and appoints Simplify instead or another Executor of your choice; or
2. To inform HSBC that your Wills are no longer valid
Customers were given until 31 July 2015 to reply.
Some of you may have moved address and have not received your letter or just thrown it away, thinking it was just an advertising mailer.
The transfer is due to take place on 30th October 2015 but, if you have received the letter you were instructed to sign and return the documents by 31st July. This does not give you very much time to think about the options or take advice.
However, if you have not signed and returned the Codicil, or even if you have, please come and talk to us and we can review the options and, if necessary, prepare a further Codicil to cancel the one you have signed.
You may have looked at all the information about Codicils, that they have sent you and thought it confusing so not done anything. It doesn’t encourage you to take further advice from a solicitor if you are unsure.
The Codicil is pre-printed and makes reference to the sale of HSBC’s UK probate service to Simplify and is worded in such a way that it only takes effect on completion of the sale. It does not give you any further details on the sale and, in particular, on the charges that Simplify will charge to administer your estate. This is very unusual. It also does not tell about the financial arrangement between HSBC and Simplify and how much Simplify will pay HSBC as a referral fee.
Simplify are not regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority as all solicitors firms are.
Our Private Client team at Crombie Wilkinson in York, Selby and Malton are happy to discuss both the letter and your Will with you and help you to make the right decision for you.