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Following a year of almost non-stop probate backlogs at the Probate Registries, an announcement has now been made by HMCTS that the backlog has now almost been cleared. 
Before there was a probate-fee-change announced towards the end of 2018, our team of Probate solicitors in Lancaster found that the average length of time taken to receive the Grant of Probate back was around two to three weeks. However, when it was announced that the Probate fees would be tiered, depending on the value of the deceased’s estate, there was apparently a spike in the number of applications received by HMCTS. Couple this with an IT-glitch that occurred around the same time, chaos-ensued. 
Well, the good news is that the new tiered fee system has now been placed on the back-burner (for the time being, anyway), and HMCTS seem to finally be making their way through the backlog. As of April (when the deadline for the new fees was supposed to be), the applications that our Probate Solicitors in Preston were submitting were taking around 16 weeks, if not longer, in some cases. Now, we advise our clients that applications are taking around six to eight weeks, or slightly less in some cases. 

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According to HMCTS, applications for grants of probate are currently taking around four weeks to be issued, and this is expected to decrease to just two weeks, again, by Christmas. Previously, HMCTS had confirmed that they would clear the backlog by November. 
To help deal with the backlog, and ensure that applications are back on track by Christmas time (which, as we are probably all aware, is now only a mere-few-weeks away), HMCTS has explained that all probate queries should be directed through Birmingham Courts and Tribunal Service Centre, which is open from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am to 12pm on Saturdays. 
Whilst our Probate solicitors in Lancaster understand that there were a few issues that contributed to the Probate Registry delays, our team would explain that the delays have not been ideal, as it can cause additional stress to people who need the probate to be granted as soon as possible. 
However, as experts in dealing with Probate, our team make our clients aware of the issues faced by the Registry from the very beginning, so that they are aware of the delays, and understand from the get-go how long the process will take. 
If you need to make an application for a grant of probate, make sure that things are dealt with properly and no additional delays are caused by completing the forms incorrectly; instruct your local probate solicitors in Lancaster today by emailing or pop into your local office
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