• April 23, 2024
 MoJ addresses probate delays and promises faster processing

MoJ addresses probate delays and promises faster processing

In a recent response to concerns raised about probate application delays, Lord Bellamy, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, outlined measures the Ministry of Justice is implementing to expedite the probate process.

This comes after Lord Naseby, a member of the Conservative party, inquired about the steps being taken to meet the government’s target of processing probate applications within 16 weeks amid reports of delays extending up to a year.

Lord Bellamy acknowledged that the probate service experienced an unprecedented surge in applications throughout 2022, a trend that has persisted into the first nine months of 2023. Despite these challenges, he noted that the average processing time for a grant of probate, once all necessary documents are received, was reduced to 13 weeks from July to September 2023.

To keep the public informed, the Ministry of Justice routinely publishes the average waiting times for probate grants on the gov.uk website, with the latest data available up to September 2023. These publications are part of the Family Court Statistics Quarterly and aim to provide transparency about the service’s performance.

To address the backlog and improve service delivery, the Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has undertaken several initiatives. These include bolstering staff numbers, refining internal processes, and continuing to enhance the digital service platform for probate applications. As a result, Lord Bellamy said, the number of grants issued for recent months has been at record levels, with over 15,500 more grants issued than applications received during the last four months (September to December) using more recent management information published by HMCTS.

Lord Bellamy’s statement reflects the Ministry of Justice’s commitment to resolving the probate delays and ensuring that applications are processed efficiently. The increased capacity and digital improvements are pivotal steps towards achieving the government’s processing target.

Katie Johnson, Digital Journalist, Today's Media

Digital Journalist, Today's Media Contact: katie.johnson@todaysmedia.co.uk LinkedIn