We’ve responded to a government consultation on making the online probate process mandatory for professional users (solicitors and other probate practitioners) .

Between August and September 2020, the Ministry of Justice ran a consultation on changing the non-contentious probate rules to make it compulsory for professional users to use the online process.

The consultation closed on 10 September 2020.

We agree in principle with mandating online professional applications; however, the system must be fit for purpose before this is fully rolled out and should not be made compulsory until all issues have been resolved.

Practitioners will want to have assurance that:

  • the online systems work and are fully tested before mandating their use
  • service levels will not decline, and 
  • these changes won’t lead to excessive changes to fees.

HMCTS must also state what alternative options will be available should the system experience difficulties, such as technology issues or if a practitioner can show that the online system cannot cope with a particular aspect of the application.