On 14 May, we asked HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) to explain the ongoing delays to the probate service and confirm the steps being taken to address the problems.

HMCTS listed some of the combined factors that have prevented the smooth transition it had hoped for. These include:

  • registries have moved on to a new case data management system which required a period of training
  • unexpected technical issues across the HMCTS probate infrastructure took the new system offline for four days
  • applications have increased following uncertainty around the new probate fee structure
  • the level of enquiries coming into registries has diverted resources away from the current backlog
  • cases are taking up to 30 working days to be processed

HMCTS apologised for the delay and explained what they will do next. 

We have highlighted the need for improved communications between local registries and service users as well as wider, regular updates from HMCTS.