HMCTS Q3 statistics show an increase in both the proportion of digital applications for probate grants and probate grants issued digitally.
In July to September 2021, there were 52,750 applications for probate grants and 58,642 probate grants were issued in the same period. 79% of these applications and 82% of these grants issued were made digitally, compared to 45% and 46% respectively in the same quarter in 2020.
The report shows that probate grants were issued quicker than other grants of representation at approximately 9 weeks after the application was submitted during July to September 2021. Letters of administration with a will and without a will took around 12 and 10 weeks respectively.
Probate grants also make up the majority (82%) of all grants issued. In July to September 2021, 63% of the grants issued were applied for by legal professionals and 37% were personal applications. For the 58,642 probate grants issued in the same period, 82% were issued digitally.
Probate grants that were stopped during July to September 2021 took 15 weeks on average to be issued, compared to five weeks for those that were not stopped.
When looking at the time from document receipt (i.e. when payment has been made and the application and all accompanying documents are ready for examination) to grant issue, this is around 2 weeks quicker than the average time from application submission for probate grants.
HMCTS reports that in Q3 there has been an increase across all timeliness measures as a result of older stopped cases being processed, which in turn reduced available resources to handle non-stopped cases.
Changes to IHT reporting and the removal of Forms IHT205 and IHT217 are expected to increase the number of digital applications, in addition to applications from those without legal representation, going forward.
The report can be accessed here.