• December 9, 2023
 Probate delays failing to improve, data suggests

Probate delays failing to improve, data suggests

Delays continued to torment the probate process during October as the wait times seen in September showed few signs of improvement – especially with regards to digital applications.

Specifically, the average total time taken from submission to grant issue for all probate applications, including both digital and paper, was 9.3 weeks in October 2022, just as it was in September.

Wait times therefore remain 5.7% longer than those seen as recently as August and some 16.3% higher than delays seen as recently as April of this year.

The total number of receipts fell 6.5% during the month from 22,679 to 21,197 in October, broadly in line with figures seen this time last year. The number of grants issued did, however, climb 10.9% to 41,128 – the highest seen in any month since May.

18,643 receipts and 19,420 grants of the above were digital. The average time taken from submission to grant issued for such applications was 7.4 weeks – up 2.8% from September and the longest wait seen since December last year.

The delay for stopped digital applications rose 5.9% to 16.2 weeks – also the longest wait since December 2021. Encouragingly, the delay for non-stopped applications fell by 7.1% to 3.9 weeks, the shortest wait since February.

For paper applications, the average wait was 17.4 weeks – a 6.5% drop. Stopped applications took 25.4 weeks – nearly half a year, though shorter than the wait seen in September – while non-stopped applications took 12.4 weeks.

The total number of paper applications nearly halved to 2,554 while the number of grants climbed 21.7% to 4,708. Taken with the shortened waiting times, this may suggest the move to digital probate is lessening the burden on remaining paper applications and allowing registries to make progress clearing any backlogs that have added to delays.

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