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Probate applications once again hit with backlogs and delays due to Pandemic

26 April 2021

It was not too long ago that the Probate Registry were inundated with probate applications to process following proposals to significantly increase probate application fees. The waiting time for applications to be processed by the probate registry was between 8-12 weeks- sometimes even longer!

Thankfully, the idea of increasing probate fees was abandoned and the current fees are set to remain for the immediately foreseeable future. Once the backlog following the increased fee proposals was cleared, we were working with a turnaround of 2-4 weeks for the issuing of Grants.

However, due to the current ongoing pandemic, we are once again experiencing significant delays in the processing of applications. We are now told not to contact the probate registry for updates until at least 8 weeks following submission of the application. This can cause significant issues especially where the Grant is required for the sale of a property. The sale of a deceased’s property cannot, in most circumstances, complete without the Grant of Representation.

The best way forward to deal with such delays is to ensure that the application is accurate and contains all the relevant information. If important information is omitted, the probate registry may request further details. This can then delay the application further because there are also delays with enquiries which are dealt with in date order.

Hopefully, as lockdown begins to ease over the next few months, coupled with the use of the new online systems adopted by the Probate Registry, we should start to see a decrease in the processing time of applications.

If you are worried about the Probate Registry delays, or unsure whether a Grant of Representation is required, please contact one of our dedicated Private Client solicitors on 01270 613939 or contact us here and we will be happy to call you back. Our team are able to advise whether a Grant is required, and if so, work proactively in submitting the application to the Probate Registry, especially where a house sale is dependent on the Grant.

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