Ministry Of Justice Continues Digital Reformation With Live Chat Option

Legal service users anxious over their probate or social security and child support services (SSCS) can now get immediate access to support according to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

Throughout 2019, the MoJ has been digitally reforming a number of services in a bid to widen the use of legal services in England and Wales.

Divorce applications and probate applications can now be made online using a less complex, modern and streamlined system. In addition to this advancement of service, users struggling to complete forms can now access immediate support through the use of a live webchat service which is supplementing the current telephone options.

The service, accessed through the ‘contact us’ section on GOV.UK, facilitates communication in real time whilst allowing the user to keep working on their current screen.

It is thought that this modern communication method will encourage more people to use probate and SSCS services if they can receive instant responses to queries and concerns.

The webchat teams are dedicated to particular areas of law and will therefore be best placed to deal with specific requests and questions posed to them.

Since its launch in July 2019, over 250 people have utilised the service and the MoJ are looking to expand the service to divorce, civil money claims and single justice procedure in the near future.

In January, HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has launched the new online probate service throughout England and Wales.

Throughout the second half of 2018, HMCTS had trialled the online system, that enables the bereaved to apply for a grant of probate, make the statement of truth online and pay for probate using the online service.

During the trial, over 39,000 users tested the various facets of the online service to overwhelming success. Online divorce applications have cut errors from 40% to 1%.

93% of users applying for online probate were satisfied or very satisfied with the service they received.

Jeannine North, Service Centre Services Manager said:

“It’s all about offering people a choice. Everyone is different and we want to be able to offer a range of options so that people can choose to contact us in the way that best suits their needs.”

HMCTS Chief Executive, Susan Acland-Hood, said:

“Making probate simpler and more convenient and removing the need to attend a probate registry and swear an oath in person, helps bereaved people at a very challenging time – those who have tested our new service have told us how much difference it makes. I am delighted we are now able to offer this new, simpler way of doing probate to the public at large. It is part of the work we’re doing to make the justice system easier to navigate.”

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