Read the latest updates from our December 2020 meeting with HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS).

In December 2020, the Law Society met with the probate service user group, to share feedback and help improve the service. The group includes: 

  • STEP Society
  • Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE)
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
  • Royal National Institute of Blind People.

Latest guidance

Key advice from HMCTS on how to make a successful probate application is summarised below.

Grace period extended to 11 January

HMCTS extended the grace period for the use of paper-based probate applications until Monday 11 January 2021.

Unless an application is exempt from online submission, all paper applications received after 11 January will be returned unissued.


HM Revenue & Customs recommends that you allow 20 working days from the date you send your IHT400 before applying for your grant.

Caveats: matching information

We passed on member feedback that there are variations, for example, in how you can enter address information.

HMCTS is looking into this. It hopes to incorporate a tech change which will aid the matching process.

At the moment, a caveat matches on the name, date of birth and date of death. The date of birth and date of death have to be accurate for a match to come up. 

HMCTS is looking at its notification system to make sure that all the information that has been entered into a caveat is matching.

Tell us your questions

Our next meeting will take place at the end of January 2021.

You can send any queries / questions you would like us to raise to