Our Probate Solicitors Discuss Current Timescales for Processing Probate Applications
Posted on 26th November 2020
Now more than ever, our team of experts in Probate and Estate Administration understand the frustration of trying to deal with your loved one’s Estate: If there’s more than one Executor, it can be almost impossible to meet up to discuss what you need to do with your loved one’s belongings. The process of trying to get tasks completed, such as closing accounts and clearing out the house they lived in is made even more difficult. On top of this, the length of making an application for a Grant of Representation is longer.
However, despite seeing an average of over 5,000 Grants issued a week in 2020, Stephen Burgess at the Probate Office confirmed that whilst the volume of applications received increased above the normal average since mid-May, the peak was less than expected and therefore waiting times for Probate applications have managed to improve.
Mr Burgess went onto say that the most recent published timescales are 2 to 5 weeks for any applications made digitally and 5 to 7 weeks for paper applications. He explains that the longer timescales for paper applications is due to COVID restrictions on how the large quantities of applications can be handled.
What is MG Legal’s experience?
Well, our team of experts in Probate and Estate Administration are yet to receive an application returned from the online Probate service, however, based on that fact that applications for most practitioners only opened online from 2nd November, this is to be expected.
In terms of paper applications, our team has experienced a range of timescales. In one case, our team has found that they are still waiting for Probate to be issued on a matter submitted in August. Having chased the Probate Registry, our Probate team were informed that this was due to awaiting a document from HM Revenue and Customs (who confirmed that this had already been sent, and then re-sent after the Probate Registry had chased again).
Another application made by our team was submitted mid-way through September, and was received back a mere 3 weeks later, at the start of October. However, it’s worth noting that this application did not need to be sent to HM Revenue and Customs, too, so this is one reason that the application was processed quicker.
Have the delays caused any issues?
Fortunately, for our team at MG Legal, the delays haven’t caused any issues for our Probate and Estate Administration clients. Whilst waiting for Probate, the Executors of an Estate have still managed to market properties for sale and, once a sale has been agreed, our Property team have progressed the sale so that when the Grant is received, they could complete shortly after.
What can be done to make the application process quicker?
Well, HM Courts and Tribunals Service are continuing to urge Probate and Estate Administration practitioners to make applications for Grants of Representation online, where possible. As explained above, this reduces the average timescale from 5 to 7 weeks to just 2 to 5 weeks. In addition, the online portal allows practitioners to receive updates on the progress of the application, without having to ring the Probate Registry.
How can MG Legal help?
Whilst there is nothing much any local probate solicitor can do about the timescales set out by the Probate Registry in general, our team are experts in Probate and Estate Administration and can help to make the application process seamless. By completing and submitting the application as quickly as possible, our team will help to get the Grant of Representation back sooner rather than later.
We offer fixed fees for applications for a Grant of Representation, starting from just £550.00 plus VAT* (and disbursements) and will get your application submitted as quickly as possible to help you deal with your loved one’s Estate.
*Price correct at time of posting.
How to contact MG Legal’s experts in Probate and Estate Administration
Contact our team at your local office, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and contact details, and a member of the team will get in contact with you to discuss your matter. If your enquiry is out of office hours, email email@example.com, and we will get back to you as soon as possible to help with your enquiry.
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