MyHMCTS service improvements set to reduce probate delays

In a recent HMCTS blog post, Deputy Director of HMCTS, Adam Lennon, has responded to feedback and criticisms of the probate service by highlighting proposed changes set to improve the service going forward.

HMCTS has outlined plans to improve its online MyHMCTS service and reduce delays currently being experienced by grieving families.

Adam Lennon, Deputy Director of HMCTS, wrote that

“we know that our service could be improved, and that some applicants have experienced difficulties and delays. I want to outline our plans for these improvements and explain how we’ve used valuable feedback to make things better for our users”.

Aside from allocating more staff to progress stopped cases and reduce the time they take to be resolved, Lennon listed a number of further changes expected to reduce delays.

  • MyHMCTS has now been updated to make it clear that users should wait for 20 working days from submitting inheritance tax documents before applying for a grant. Lennon states that this gap will ensure that inheritance tax processes can be completed with all of the required information so that applications can be granted without unnecessary delays.
  • An improved application coversheet has been introduced to provide greater clarity to practitioners around required documents, and some processes have now been automated to speed things up.
  • Lennon also states that HMCTS are now working closely with HMRC to improve information sharing, since the two are intrinsically linked.
  • Finally, guidance has also been issued around user problems relating to the MyHMCTS multi-factor authentication process that provides additional security for accounts. Users are now instructed to contact for help on adding the HMCTS email address to a safe sender list.

Further changes to MyHMCTS effective in the coming weeks include, allowing Trust Corporations to apply for a grant online for the first time, as well as providing new prompts so that practitioners can clearly identify the title of the executor, including partners, members, shareholders and directors in a firm or successor firm.

Practitioners will be able to amend any part of an application before submitting, and improvements have been made to the title and clearing wording on the legal statement, which practitioners will be able to sign digitally, and on behalf of clients and applying executors.

Finally, it will no longer be a requirement to send a death certificate of any pre-deceased executors.

In the blog, Lennon also highlights the importance of feedback in making improvements, and asked that professionals using the service please keep sharing their opinions so that HMCTS can understand what’s working well and what could be done better.

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