New resource to help members with probate applications
We've collectively worked with HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS), the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, Solicitors for the Elderly and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales to produce a new document which aims to support legal professionals using the probate service.
What the document covers
The document covers frequently asked questions relating to:
- online application queries
- paper applications queries
- general queries
- IHT queries
- the process explained
- signature guidance
This is a working document that HMCTS intend to continually update as the process continues to evolve.
The publication of this document forms part of the ongoing work we've undertaken on behalf of members.
We've been hosting regular review meetings with HMCTS and other stakeholders since last summer when issues regarding probate delays emerged.
The purpose of these meetings has been to represent member concerns regarding the probate service to ensure HMCTS takes steps to address these and for us to work with them to make the systems better.
Ian Bond, chair of the our Wills and Equity Committee says:
“We welcome the publication of this document on using the new application forms and the online portal for legal professionals applying for grants of representation. We have worked with HMCTS and other professional organisations to make sure that users of the new forms and the online portal have the necessary information to enable the completion and submission of successful applications whichever method they choose to submit their applications.
We note that this is a working document and would continue to ask practitioners to provide us with feedback and questions so that we can address these with HMCTS and update the document accordingly. Feedback can be sent to email@example.com.”
HMCTS recently published a blog written by Ian which explores the background to the online probate project and our involvement in this.
We continue to keep the probate service under review and are due to meet with HMCTS and other professional bodies at the end of June.
HMCTS have noted a slight upward trend in legal professionals using the online service to submit digital applications and would encourage more to adopt this approach.
If solicitors are not yet using the online service, they will need to use the new forms. Annotated versions of the new forms by the Registrars are due to be published soon.