Useful Information

Consult a Solicitor:

In most circumstances, it is advisable for you to consult a solicitor both to relieve you of many worries and to take control of wills, problems of intestacy, outstanding debts, grants and letters of administration. A solicitor could save you a great deal of unnecessary trouble and eventually save you money. If it is known that a will was made, it is important that the contents be ascertained as soon as possible after death as it may contain instructions regarding the funeral arrangements. A will may be among personal papers with the bank or solicitor for safekeeping. If the deceased has consulted a Solicitor in the recent past it is important that you contact them without delay.

How to Obtain Probate:

What is Probate?

When someone dies somebody has to deal with their estate (the money, property and possessions left) by collecting all the money paying any debts and distributing the estated to those entitled.

The Probate Registry issues the document, which is called a GRANT OF REPRESENTATION.

There are three types of grant.

1. Probate issued to one or more of the executors named in the will.
2. Letters of Administration (with will) issued when there is a will, but no executor named or unable to deal with The estate.
3. Letters of administration issued when the deceased has not made a will or it is not valid.

Why is this grant necessary?

Organisations holding money in the deceased's name need to know to who the money is to be paid. The distribution of th eestate is the responsibility of the person on the grant.

Is this grant always needed?

A grant is sometimes not needed if the deceased's money will be released without the holder seeing a grant, when the amount held is small and there are no complications.

What to do whean a death occurs.

If a death occurs at home, telephone the deceased's GP

Contact a qualified Funeral Director who will then be able to advise you on what steps to take next. These may include:


The death will need to be registered in the registrars office for the area in which the death has occurred. The following information and documents are required:

Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (Issued by a Hospital or GP if death occurs at home)

Medical Card of the Deceased

Birth Certificate and Marriage Certificate available for information.

Full name of Deceased.

Date of Birth of surviving partner if applicable

Type of Funeral arranged (Burial or Cremation)

Maiden name - if applicable

Copies of the entry of death if required are obtainable from the registrar upon payment of the necessary fee.

The Registrar will issue you with:

A green certificate for burial or cremation which must be delivered to the Funeral Director as soon as possible prior to the funeral taking place.

A white certificate of registration of death, which should be completed and forwarded together with the deceased's pension/benefit book to the local Benefits Agency Office.

A copy of the entry of death (otherwise known as the Death Certificate) Additional copies of this may be obtained from the Registrar upon payment of the appropriate fee should you require them for legal purposes.

The offices of Registration within the district are:


Portland House, Richmond Road, Worthing BN11 1HH
Tel: 01243 642122
Mon - Fri 9.00 - 12.30 & 13.00 - 16.00
(last appointment 16.00 office closes at 17.00)


County Buildings, East Street, Littlehampton BN17 6AP
Tel: 01903 712016
Mon - Fri 9.00 - 12.00 (By appointment)


26 West Street, Storrington RH20 4EE
Tel: 01403 320372
Mon, Tues & Fri 10.00 - 12.00 (By appointment)


Health Centre, Pond Road, Shoreham by Sea BN43 5US
Tel: 01273 453023
Mon - Fri 9.30 - 12.30 (By appointment)


The Town Hall, Bartolomews, Brighton BN1 1JA
TEL: 01273 292016
Mon - Fri 9.30 - 16.30