WINTERBORNE LEGAL SERVICES
A little under two years ago, it was possible to receive your issued Grant of Probate within ten days of having made the application to the Probate Registry.
Times have changed.
The delays began in early 2019, when there was a proposal to significantly increase the probate fees, leading to a surge in applications arriving at the Probate Registry in a short space of time. Coupled with this, the Courts service introduced their programme of modernisation of the probate service. This modernisation included the closing of many sub-registries with the intention of centralising the probate services under one roof. On top of this, IT systems were being introduced at the probate service, and it took time for many of the initial teething problems to be smoothed out.
Arrival of Covid-19
During the lockdown the number of applications fell overall, as familities were unable to access the information they need to complete the Inheritance Tax forms. At the same time, though, some of the district probate registries were unable to function meaning that the remaining probate registries had to take on additional applications.
Overall, the delays continued and the backlog of applications waiting to be dealt with continued to rise.
The good news!
The Courts service has taken on additional staff to process applications and we are seeking Grants being issued in a shorter timescale than the 12 week wait of earlier.
Nevertheless, there are still delays and you can usually expect to wait for a minimum of 5-6 weeks before your Grant is issued. You need to be aware of this if you are considering selling a probate property. It is better to take the time to make the application for a Grant of Probate first, and put the property on the market when you know the application is being processed.
The Probate Registry are not sympathetic to requests to speed up the issue of a Grant because you are selling a property.
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