The delays in obtaining a Grant of Probate at the Court have been well documented. These delays have been blamed on a new computer system, shortages of staff, increase in demand as a result of a possible court fee increase (which is no longer happening) and the closure of one of the local Probate Registries.
The Court have informed the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners that the delays for new professional applications have improved to 2 – 3 weeks and personal applications to 4 weeks. However, this does not take into account existing applications which have been waiting for some time in the system and are still to be processed.
Grants of Probate are required to sell property and close some accounts. They are the legal document which confirms who has authority to act on behalf of the estate and are often required by financial institutions and the Land Registry. It is likely that executors have incurred additional expense while waiting for the Grants to come through and possibly house sales have been lost as a result.
Dawn Cash, Associate Solicitor