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Delays to probate application approval - how to lessen the impact

View profile for Ed Ryder
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Delays to probate application approval - how to lessen the impact

Ever lengthening waiting times for probate applications to be approved are generating additional burdens for executors, particularly those sorting out issues without professional support.

For example, waiting times in respect of more complex ‘paper’ applications are currently stretching to over 22 weeks; for those applications where the Probate Registry has raised queries, the waiting times extend over half a year, to beyond 30 weeks.

Probate Registry delays - consider 'future proofing' your arrangements

This delay has been commented on in the House of Lords but there appears to be no immediate end in sight. For those of us involved in lifetime planning, it does raise some interesting questions. If the system remains as it is, should we encourage those we advise to start looking at future proofing arrangements?

For example, having funds available in joint accounts with younger children; adding children or spouses onto the legal tile of property so you do not suffer the double delay of Probate Registry waiting times plus Land Registry waiting times, which are currently over a year for non-transactional first registrations. 

Solutions obviously need careful thought and advice but this is not something I would now dismiss as unnecessary or disproportionate. I am genuinely worried for some where finances are managed in the “traditional way” of sole accounts run by the husband, that the delays in the Probate Registry will stop elderly surviving spouses accessing essential funds. 

Professional experience can assist in moving you through the 'probate queue'

Although there is no magic wand approach to this problem, the team at Harrowells have a level of practical experience in dealing with probate applications which, at the very least, means that we will be able to get you in the very long probate queue as quickly as possible.

Professional assistance in the completion of the application also assists in that we can anticipate potential enquiries from the Probate Registry and supply evidence and information at the time of the application which will allow the application to proceed without joining the dreaded ‘stop’ queue.

Having the Grant of Representation gives the personal representatives of the estate control and a legal voice, and in my experience having that control as soon as possible is of great benefit to all those involved in the administration of the estate.  

Our articles are intended for general information purposes only and are not a substitute for professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances. We are always very happy to discuss any plans, issues or concerns you may have and to clarify how we might be able to help. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.