The government has drawn in extra staff to deal with a surge in probate requests, as the number of applications coming in overtakes the number being issued.

On 22 June, HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) told the Law Society that it has stepped up efforts to deal with grants of probate in the wake of the pandemic. Existing HMCTS employees have been retrained to handle applications and new staff members have been hired. 

According to government figures, applications are typically being turned around within five to six weeks, with 4,329 grants issued in the week of 15 June.

How members can support the probate service

HMCTS continues to ask for your support in making sure that you only contact it when absolutely necessary, and not to chase cases that are within its timescales.

Members are encouraged to adopt the online service. The recently published FAQ document aims to support legal professionals using the probate service.

If you are not yet using the online service, you’ll need to use the new forms.