Government call for evidence on probate delays


9 January 2024

By Lisa Carter

The House of Commons Justice Committee has launched a new inquiry into probate, the legal term for sorting out a will, amid concerns that delays at the Probate Registry are at their highest rate since 2019.

Protracted delays in the probate process can exacerbate emotional distress during an already challenging period and may also cause significant tax implications.

Gepp Solicitors support all efforts to enhance the process including how the administration of probate could be improved for people who are already coming to terms with the loss of a loved one. Many of our clients are finding the waiting time for probate almost doubling in the last year alone.

The Committee is looking for written submissions from both professionals and members of the public by 22 January 2024, addressing questions including:

  1. Does the probate service have the necessary resources, capabilities, and expertise to process applications for probate, including complex probate, in a timely manner? If they do not, how could this be improved?
  2. What are the principle causes of the delays in issuing grants of representation?
  3. What is being done to overcome the current delays and are there any gaps?
  4. How well is the system working for complex probate applications?
  5. Does the probate portal provide improved access to justice and value-for-money?
  6. How well are beneficiaries, executors and the bereaved protected and supported through the probate process? Are the needs of particular groups, such as disabled people or older people, appropriately considered? If not, what steps should be taken?
  7. How well are people protected from rogue traders?
  8. Are the fees and thresholds set at the right level?

Evidence can be submitted here.