The vast majority of probate sub-registries are scheduled to close before the end of March as part of the government’s wider plans to modernise the legal system.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has said it intends to shut the 18 sub-registries by the end of the first quarter of 2020, once negotiations with unions and statutory timescales on redundancy are completed, the Law Society Gazette reports.

The closures form part of the government’s wide-ranging “Transforming our Justice System” programme which is designed to introduce additional technology and modern ways of working into court and tribunal services.

The plan is to use an increasingly digital system to remove the need for multiple probate registries and sub-registries. Ultimately, probate services will be allocated to the Courts and Tribunals Service Centre in Birmingham, with some administrative work occurring at a second site.