HMCTS issue record Grants in 2020

HM Courts and Tribunals Services (HMCTS) latest figures reveal 2020 has seen record breaking issues of Grants.

HMCTS data shows an average of over 5,000 Grants issued each week for the year to date. In the last 13 weeks over 70,000 Grants have been issued (averaging over 5,400 per week). Meaning, 2020 may see more Grants issued this year than any of the last 5 years.

Last week Today’s Wills and Probate spoke to Stephen Burgess at the Probate Office for an update on the progress they had made since the summer.

Stephen spoke about the developments and improvements that have been put in place in the office, in particular the current turnaround times for applications, digitally or non-digitally. He said:

“The volume of applications received each week has increased above the normal average since mid-May 2020, but it has been a flatter peak than we predicted. This has meant waiting times have continued to improve slightly despite the pressures of the pandemic and the increased volume of receipts.”

“Our most recent published turn-around times for digital probate applications is between 2 and 5 weeks compared to 5 and 7 for paper applications. The difference in waiting times reflects the difficulties in working with large quantities of paper safely within the pandemic restrictions which are in place and ultimately the efficiency of the digital process.”

Samantha Ennor, paralegal specialising in advising the elderly and private client at Earl and Crocker Solicitors reacted by commenting on the article which was posted on LinkedIn saying:

“I am still waiting for 3 Grant of Probate applications from August and my clients patience is now running very low. I have 2 house completions on hold because the Grant has not been received. I tried to make contact with HMCTS last week and after waiting over 40 minutes, I got connected to a rude operator.

“The PA1P form was only in place for a few months and seemed to be a waste of time before HMCTS made online applications mandatory. Despite making allowances for Covid issues, I have to say I have been very disappointed with the HMCTS service.”

HMCTS are continually urging firms, individual practitioners and professionals to sign up and start using ‘MyHMCTS’ for probate applications.

HMCTS is encouraging legal professionals to use the online services by creating a ‘MyHMCTS’ account, which “provides a single place for legal professional and other organisations to issue, pay for and manage applications within civil and family courts and tribunals.”

The ‘MyHMCTS’ allows users to have access to “all of their live cases from a single case list, receive notifications of status changes (such as an order having been made) and allow access to others within their organisation. Nominated users can also view their Payment by Account transactions.”

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