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Following months of delays, the probate system should return to “normal levels” within the next few weeks, HM Courts & Tribunals Service has said.
At a meeting with the Law Society in October, HMCTS representatives said the service was sending out nearly 7,000 grants of probate a week and that issue levels were expected to remain high.
It added that new applications were being processed within three days of receipt, with the bulk of applications processed within 28 days if inheritance tax forms are provided.
Since the spring, solicitors and others have reported waiting times of several months after technical issues coincided with a sharp rise in applications, as executors attempted to beat proposed higher fees that have since been scrapped.
Commenting on the development Law Society president Simon Davis said: “Over the past several months, the delays to probate grant applications have caused undue stress for grieving families.
“We are relieved to hear these delays are starting to ease and will continue to work with HMCTS to reduce the backlogs and create a probate service fit for the 21st century.”
Andrew Fraser, partner at genealogists and international probate researchers Fraser and Fraser, added: “We have been seeing processing times of up to five months for applications that are complicated and requiring an order, despite at no time receiving requests for changes or further information. But at least the applications are now slowly trickling through.”