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In a move that is hoped to help bring the Probate Courts further into the 21st Century, the majority of probate applications made by solicitors will now need to be made online. As of 2nd November, with a grace period until the end of November, to allow for any initial system issues, all straight forward applications for a Grant of Probate must be made online by solicitors. 
The Government has introduced the changes in an attempt to make the system “quicker and more reliable”, and to assist Probate Solicitors with updates on their case, so they can see what stage the Probate Registry is at with the process, as well as knowing when a Grant has been issued. 

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The announcement was made following a consultation with legal professionals, that closed on 10 September. Following the consultation, the Law Society confirmed that, in principle, they agreed with making online applications mandatory for professional Probate Solicitors. 
To help you understand what these changes could mean for you, as clients of our expert Probate team, we have answered some important questions: 

Will the changes affect members of the public dealing with applications themselves? 

No, if you are making an application without the assistance of an expert probate solicitor, you will usually have to submit these online. These changes were introduced for non-professional applicants prior to the professional’s deadline, and are thought to be aiding non-professionals with making applications quicker and easier. 

Do all applications have to be made online for Probate Solicitors? 

Whilst most applications will have to be made online, some Probate professionals will find themselves with an application that falls under the exempted category. 
These types of applications are seen as more specialist, and include an application for Letters of Administration with a Will annexed. This is an application by someone who is not named as the executor in a Will, but when a Will is available. For example, if the named executors have died before the person who the application relates to, this type of application could be used by a surviving residuary beneficiary to enable them to deal with the deceased’s Estate. 

Will Probate Solicitors’ fees be cheaper for online applications? 

Our Probate Solicitors would explain that the application for a Grant of Probate is still fairly similar when being submitted online as it is when submitted by post, in that the same information is still required, and the applicant, with the assistance of their Probate solicitors, must still complete and submit at least one Inheritance Tax form*. 
There is now a Statement of Truth which must be signed by the applicant or applicants, and submitted to the Probate Registry, both electronically and via post. Therefore, there is actually a little more work involved initially than when our expert team submitted their Probate applications by post. At MG Legal, we appreciate that the changed format for submitting these applications should not affect you and, therefore, our costs for dealing with such applications remains the same. You can read more about our fixed fee Probate applications on our fees page, here
*The Inheritance Tax form required for applications where there is no Inheritance Tax to pay (because the Estate is under the nil rate band) is usually the IHT205. If you need advice about which Inheritance Tax forms must be completed and submitted to finalise your loved one’s Estate, contact our expert Probate Solicitors online, here, or email and a member of the team will contact you to discuss your matter. 

How does the online probate service help? 

The aim of the service is to allow the applicant’s Probate Solicitors to check the status of their application online. Therefore, to find out whether the Probate Registry has managed to process our application or to find out if more information is required, we can log into our online account. This should reduce the timescales when further information is requested and help to lessen the burden of practitioners contacting the Probate Registries for updates by telephone, in theory, enabling them to process more applications. 

Has the price of the Probate Registry’s application fee changed? 

No, the current fee for Probate practitioners is £155.00 for an application, plus £1.50 charged per copy of the final document required. For non-probate practitioners, that is members of the public, the application fee is currently £255.00. 

How to instruct MG Legal to deal with an application for Probate 

Our team are still working: despite current restrictions imposed by the Government in relation to COVID-19, we are still working in a COVID safe way, holding all non-urgent appointments by telephone or, if required, by video call. Our expert Probate team are still available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm by telephone (you can find the contact details for each of our offices on our contact us page, here) or email us to and a member of the Probate team will get back in touch with you to discuss your matter. 
At MG Legal, we understand how important it is at such a difficult time in your life, to have a team who can assist with your application for probate with as little stress and cost as possible for you and your loved one’s Estate. That’s why our team offer excellent fixed-fee services, so that you know where you stand, and we have years’ of experience in making applications for Probate, so we can help to ensure that your application is dealt with as quickly and in the least-stressful way that is possible. 
Don’t hesitate; get legal advice and assistance from the experts today by contacting our Probate team. Welcome to MG Legal- your local solicitors. 
MG Legal - Your Local Solicitors 
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