The HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) Probate Reform Team provides an update on the online grant of representation service, and how solicitors can get involved in the next stage of testing.
You may remember that Ian Bond provided an update (http://communities.lawsociety.org.uk/private-client/ps-magazine/august-2017/do-it-yourself/5062474.article) in the August 2017 edition of PS magazine about the MoJ’s modernisation plans for the Probate Service.
One aspect of the modernisation programme is the proposed introduction of an online grant of representation service to simplify the application process and allow for applications to be handled digitally.
The HMCTS Probate Reform Team is working to launch a pilot MVP version – a development technique in which a new product or website is developed with sufficient features to satisfy early adopters – of the digital service this spring for use by solicitors and professionals.
During the pilot, a select number of invited firms and professionals from across the country will take part in applying for probate online on behalf of their clients through the new digital service.
The scope and types of cases that professionals can apply for will be narrow or ‘minimum’, to enable simple cases for grants of probate only with set eligibility criteria. This will ensure the digital application is tested with a controlled audience as a ‘viable product’ for release, whilst we continue to build additional functionality into the application.
We are agile, energised and proactively working to ensure we meet the user needs of professionals and their clients to make applying for a grant of probate as simple and frictionless as possible.
Currently, around 40 per cent of the overall number of grants of probate are either stopped or delayed, but the digital service aims to significantly reduce this through a simplified and more straightforward online application.
We are meeting the needs of the key actors in this journey and streamlining and optimising the digital process to complement and expedite the current offline process of applying for a grant of probate in a number of ways.
If you are interested in taking part in the pilot and getting details on eligibility criteria, please email the Probate for Solicitors and Professionals Team at HMCTS .