Solicitors and probate practitioners will be permitted to apply for probate online as of 1 October, according to a statutory instrument put before parliament last week.

From that date non-contentious probate rules will allow these professionals to apply for the service without an invitation from a probate registry.

Last week HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) also met the Law Society, Solicitors for the Elderly and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) to discuss ongoing delays to grants of probate, the Law Society Gazette reports.

HMCTS said it was issuing around 20,000 grants per month and is dealing with grants in date order (oldest first).

In a statement issued on 18 June, justice minister Paul Maynard said that urgent action was being taken to address delays in the service and that plans were in place to extend the online probate option to all user groups and probate types by the end of autumn 2019.

He commented: “Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service is increasing staffing levels and further improving the digital service to help reduce waiting times.”

The ministry launched the online probate service in January. It can be used when there is an original will and an original or interim death certificate.