Probate Inquiry to Address Delays and Concerns with the Probate Registry

The Justice Committee have recently announced their inquiry into the Probate Registry which aims to address a concerning surge in the time taken for applications to be processed. Joel Blake, Solicitor in our Private Client team discusses.
What is Probate?

Probate refers to the legal procedure of administering a deceased person’s estate and involves identifying their assets, settling any debts, tax and liabilities and then distributing the estate in accordance with their Will.

Delays and Challenges

In most cases, personal representatives are first dependent on the Probate Registry to issue a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration and those involved have recently experienced a drastic increase in waiting times which have nearly doubled from April 2022 to April 2023.

A survey commissioned by the Law Society in October 2023 found that 62% of practitioners believed the online portals had caused delays to probate with other issues including poor response times and limited staff knowledge. Personal representatives can generally expect to wait around 16 weeks for a response back from the Probate Registry.

Details of the Probate Inquiry

The scope of the probate inquiry led by the Justice Committee seeks to address the following critical areas:

  • Capacity and Resources – to assess whether the Probate Registry possesses the resources and expertise to deal with the complexity of probate applications.
  • Causes of Delays – to investigate the primary factors that have contributed to a surge in waiting times.
  • Impact on Individuals – to examine the impact of delays on beneficiaries and whether further fraud protection measures are needed.
  • Performance Metrics – how to monitor performance of the Probate Registry to provide a more efficient service in the future.
  • Technological Innovation – to explore technological advancements to streamline the current process and improve access to justice.
Seeking Professional Assistance

Given the complexity of some estates paired with significant delays in probate proceedings, individuals contenting with this process may benefit from seeking professional assistance. Engaging experts familiar with the probate process can alleviate the stress and intricacies involved in estate administration that pose a challenge for individuals managing the aftermath of a loved one’s passing.

Should you seek assistance in the probate process, please contact Joel Blake, Solicitor in our Private Client team, on [email protected] or on 0121 733 8000 to assist.




Sign up for our newsletter

Scroll to Top