HMCTS Urges Probate Practitioners To Use MyHMCTS Online Service
HM Courts and Tribunals Services (HMCTS) and other professionals are urging firms to sign up and start using ‘MyHMCTS’ for probate applications.
A case study ‘Probate online: Collaborating to tackle issues’ has been released by HMCTS which highlights the role of legal professionals have in “….the design and implementation stages of an HMCTS reform project, Probate Online”
The study highlights the importance of a ‘collaborative approach’ to help find a resolution to key problems that arose during the project.
HMCTS receive approximately 280,000 applications for grants of probate per annum, the aim of the project is to improve the process for personal applicants and solicitors using the service for cases that have not been contested.
Since the project started back in April 2016, HMCTS have carried out widespread research, demonstrated and trailed the new online service, making improvements along the way to ensure the new service meets the needs of its users.
So not to alienate those people who did not have internet access, the project team gave the same service benefits to a “simplified paper-based application process”.
Ian Bond, former Chair of the Law Society’s Wills and Equity Committee showed his support of the service by tweeting recently, whilst sharing the link of the HMCTS’ new blog ‘Probate online: Collaborating to tackle issues’. He said:
“I encourage any firm not using #MyHMCTS for #probate applications to sign up and try it”
By the end of 2019, it was found that probate professionals were not utilising the digital system and were mainly using the paper process which takes longer for HMCTS to process and the applicant using the service are unable to track its progress through the system.
Since then HMCTS have collaborated and build up strong relationships with the Law Society, STEP, SFE and the charity sector, while carrying out more research and testing to ascertain what is hindering individual practitioners from using the online service.
This has resulted in an increase in use of its online system by practitioners and has continued to grow weekly. Due to the growth of confidence in the system, HMCTS and Ministry of Justice (MOJ) are considering making its use mandatory for practitioners.
However, STEP and the Law Society of England and Wales have urged the MoJ to air on the side of caution when considering making it compulsory for the use of the online probate system.
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.”
‘MyHMCTS’ is still in the testing phase and feedback is welcomed by email so that they can improve the experience of users.
The process for solicitors and other legal professionals to register their company to use MyHMCTS online services is here.
As a probate practitioner, have you signed up to the ‘MyHMCTS’, if so, what is your personal experience of the probate online system?