• February 29, 2024
 Paper probate applications taking twice as long as digital ones

Paper probate applications taking twice as long as digital ones

The latest figures from HM Courts & Tribunals Service have revealed that paper probate applications are sometimes taking more than twice as long as their digital counterparts.

In May, the probate service performance figures show that digital applications took 13.5 weeks when stopped and 4.1 weeks without stops.

In the same period, paper applications took 22.8 weeks when stopped and 8.9 weeks without stops.

According to the Law Society, HMCTS “appreciates more action is needed for paper applications”, adding that “while these are more complex, HMCTS accepts there is no reason for the long waits, which are now creating demand in terms of phone calls”.

HMCTS also confirmed to the Society:

  • Most paper applications are dealt with at probate registries
  • More staff are being trained and deployed to bring down both the stopped and the new applications, including upskilling Courts and Tribunals Service Centre (CTSC) staff around the more in-depth intestacy and “Admon with Will” type queries

On the issue of stopped applications, the Law Society says HMCTS has seen “month-on-month reductions” in the number of applications it’s had to stop first time round. The Society said:

“Stops continue to impact timeliness and HMCTS is concentrating on ways to drive these down, as well as looking at how it can make internal processes more efficient.”

For more information on improvements to the service and practitioner advice, read the Society’s full update here.

Jamie Lennox, Editor, Today's Wills and Probate

Editor of Today's Conveyancer, Today's Wills and Probate, and Today's Family Lawyer Contact LinkedIn jamie.lennox@todaysmedia.co.uk Twitter

1 Comment

  • The Probate process is meant to be dealt with on date basis. I currently have an application in for a client who died last September, a 205 was submitted on March 21, a query was raised on 29 March and answered on 30 March, just to release an asset worth £26K and they have still not issued probate nearly 22 weeks later! Yet I have had one back in 3 weeks from submission. Clients submitting papers as a paperwork exercise should not be penalised by digital applications (not everyone can do this) – they should ALL be dealt with strictly in date order – no exceptions. The CEO of the probate registry cannot and will not answer the question “Why can you no longer issue a Grant in two weeks?” which was they case before they apparently “improved” the service!

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