HMCTS have this week have stated that the probate system should be back to normal within a matter of weeks, however many solicitors remain sceptical.
Following a software glitch and a spike in applications in March, before the proposed hike in fees (which have now been scrapped) probate applications were taking around 12-14 weeks to be dealt with. This was a significant increase based on the 2-3 turnaround seen before these delays started.
HMCTS have told the Law Society this week that ‘New applications are processed within three days of being received and the bulk of applications are processed within 28 days if inheritance tax forms are provided. As a result, it is ‘optimistic that the probate service will very shortly return to normal levels’,
We as solicitors however, remain sceptical. Whilst I have certainly seen a decrease in the delay for new applications, I still have applications dating back to May which are yet to be dealt with. It therefore seems as though HMCTS are tackling new applications as a priority and old applications are simply being left to be dealt with ‘as and when’ they get a chance.
If you have any concerns about probate, please contact our private client solicitor Jennifer Wilkinson