Caution Urged On Compulsory Use Of Online Probate System
STEP and the Law Society of England and Wales have supported the mandatory use of the system, but have urged the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to air on the side of caution.
The online service has been available for personal applications since late 2016, and was extended to professionals following changes to non-contentious probate rules in November 2017.
It was made available to all practitioners in October 2019, and is recognised as a positive step forward. However, some users have reported problems.
The Law Society said:
“HMCTS must 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.”
Meanwhile, STEP explained that the system isn’t fit for purpose when it comes to more complex non-contentious applications, such as grants as colligenda bona.
STEP did say that the system did work well for day-to-day and non-complex probate applications.