Probate Applications During COVID-19: Is The Number Of Applications Increasing In Line With The Death Toll?
Posted on 14th May 2020
When your loved one dies, quite often you will need to make an application for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration (known collectively as ‘probate’). But, even with the large death toll during COVID-19, how is the number of applications being affected?
First of all, what is the difference between Grant of Probate and Letters of Administration?
You can read about the full differences between these two legal documents in our Solicitors in Lancaster’s blog, here. However, in brief, a Grant of Probate is issued when the deceased left a Will, and a Letter of Administration is issued when the deceased died intestate.
Can I deal with applying for Probate myself?
In some cases, you may decide to handle the application yourself, and this is completely acceptable. However, with 62% of applications being made by Probate Solicitors on behalf of the deceased’s loved one, the majority of people decide that the assistance of legal professionals, such as our team of Solicitors in Lancaster, is well worth the money.
How has the number of applications changed since lockdown started?
In 2019 alone, nearly 236,000 Grants of Representation were issued, which was (incredibly) 11% lower than the previous year.
Now, even with matters as they stand with a large number of deaths due to COVID-19, the government has revealed to the Law Society that, since lockdown began, the number of applications submitted has reduced by 50%. You can read more of the Ministry of Justice’s figures, here, speculate that this could be due to limited office access for Solicitors, and therefore an inability to access Will storages safely to collect original Wills of those who have passed away. As part of an application for Grants of Representation, any original Will must be submitted, along with copies of the document, and the other Probate forms.
This fall in the number of applications doesn’t just apply to Solicitor’s applications, though, with the number of personal applications made also following the same downwards trend.
How will the number of applications change after lockdown?
HMCTS have stated that they are ‘fully aware’ that there will be a surge in applications after lockdown ends, due to an increased demand from legal professionals and personal applications from those who have been unable to get hold of their loved one’s Will during this time.
However, rest assured, if you require legal assistance to obtain a Grant of Representation, our Probate team are still here!
Can MG Legal help me apply for Probate?
During lockdown, the number of applications that our Probate team have submitted has not seen a decrease from previous years. In fact, as we are still working every day and all three of our offices in Garstang, Lancaster and Longridge are still open for appointments, our Probate team are receiving an increased number of Probate enquiries. The perseverance of our Probate team during such a difficult time has really helped those who are suffering from the loss of a loved one throughout lockdown.
How much will it cost to apply for Probate?
We offer fixed fees for Grant of Representation applications, at just £500.00 plus VAT. There will be an application fee payable to the Probate Registry of £155.00 (there is no VAT added to Court fees) plus £1.50 per copy of the original Probate that’s required.
Our fees for Probate applications are fixed, so there will be no hidden charges or add-ons later down the line.
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