Changes to the online probate service
Posted on 23rd August 2021
Changes to the online probate service, MyHMCTS, for solicitors and other legal professionals came into effect on 19 August 2021. These changes could simplify and streamline the probate process for executors and administrators.
Changes to MyHMCTS
All parts of a probate application can now be updated before submission, including the details of the probate practitioner.
Applications can be made through MyHMCTS for a copy of a Will.
Trust corporations can also apply for a grant of probate using MyHMCTS.
There will be new prompts to make sure executors are clearly identified, including partners, members, shareholders, and directors in a company. Other prompts have been clarified for executors who aren’t applying for probate, reducing the potential for cases to be stopped. Death certificates will no longer be needed for executors who die before the person who made the Will.
The legal statement
The legal statement will now automatically include the names of the executors and their practitioner. The title and wording have been improved to make the statement easier to understand.
The legal statement can be signed by a probate practitioner and it can now be done digitally. It can be uploaded through the MyHMCTS dashboard or sent by post.
Unfortunately, any applications that hadn’t been completed before 19 August will now have to be created again.
In June this year the professional user group said that during April and May performance issues at HMCTS had caused many problems.
HMCTS says that recruitment, training, and redeploying resources have now improved the situation. However, the outstanding caseload still needs to be managed.
While HMCTS says that timelines on digital and paper cases are currently good, resources have now been diverted to stopped cases, to speed up resolution.
You should continue to wait eight weeks before calling HMCTS for an update on an application although they say that calls will be answered promptly.
Every piece of evidence should have a cover sheet to provide a direct link between the evidence and an application. Without a cover sheet the information will be added to the exceptions queue, which must be checked manually every day even if the case reference number is on the correspondence or document.
The best way to minimise delays in the probate process is to have a clearly written Will, so please get in touch if you would like some advice.
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