UPDATE – Probate Registry Delays 2024

CILEX (The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives) have indicated that the severe delays being experienced with probate application will not improve without adequate resources. Further, CILEX have stated that they do not believe that the Probate Registry currently has the “necessary resources, capabilities or expertise to process applications for probate, including complex probate, in a timely manner”.

The waiting time for probate has almost doubled within the last financial year and despite this being out of the control of probate practitioners, it appears to reflect negatively on the professionals from a client perspective.

It is being widely reported that the delays with the issue of Grants of Representation are causing issues within the property market as sales are falling through due to the delay.  The financial consequences of the delays can be dire for the bereaved family members.

In response to the House of Commons Justice Committee inquiry into the probate service in England and Wales STEP (The Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners) are calling for increased staff and improvements in process and believe that it is reasonable to expected Grants to be issued within 28 days.

There is new management team in place at the Probate Registry according to the UK’s Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice and he claims this is part of the recovery plan to address the persistent delays.

From 18th January 2024 there has also been a change to the process for submission of Grants where HMRC have received a full Estate tax return which should improve processing times.

Only time will tell if the new measures will lead to significant improvements.

You can view STEP’s full consultation response here

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