New Simpler Online Probate Service Launched For The Public
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% and it is hoped that the same outcome will be found with probate issues.
93% of users applying for online probate were satisfied or very satisfied with the service they received.
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.”
Tony Donoghue from East Yorkshire, a managing director who applied for probate online while dealing with his father’s estate, said: “It’s easy to use, fast and convenient. I found it so efficient. It’s exactly what you want from an online government system – if only everything could be this simple.
“Once I sent everything off, I was sent the grant of probate within a week. I think that really reinforced for me what a good and efficient service it is.”
Whilst the new system has garnered some criticism for fears it may encourage fewer people to use probate professionals which will cause errors in the accuracy of probate forms, many are content that personal representatives will benefit from a less intrusive experience because they are no longer obligated to complete the statement of truth in an intimidating court setting.
Will this new system simplify and speed up probate applications?