Probate Service update show increase in all types of grants

The Family Court Statistics Quarterly update on probate service, from October to December 2020, shown an increase in both the proportion of applications for probate grants and probate grants issued made digitally.

The quarterly update stated the following for the probate service:

“In October to December 2020, there were 55,135 applications for probate grants. 54,476 probate grants were issued in the same period. 46% of these applications and 40% of these grants issued were made digitally, compared to 19% and 20% respectively in the same quarter in 2019.

“Probate grants are issued more quickly than other grants of representation

“Probate grants took approximately 7 weeks to be issued after the application was submitted during October to December 2020. Letters of administration with a will and without a will took around 14 and 9 weeks respectively.

“There were 67,697 applications made for grants of representation in October to December 2020. 55,135 (81%) of these were for probate grants, of which 46% were made digitally.

“Probate grants also make up the majority (83%) of all grants issued. In October to December 2020, 62% of the grants issued were applied for by legal professionals and 38% were personal applications (Table 24). For the 54,476 probate grants issued in the same period, 40% were issued digitally.

“During 2020, there were 273,258 applications made for grants of representation, up 1% on 2019. There was a total of 256,619 grants of representation issued, up 8% on 2019. Probate grants made up 82% of all the grants of representation issued in 2020.

“The average time from application submission to grant issue for probate grants was 7 weeks (median average 5 weeks) overall. Averages for letters of administration with a will and without a will were 14 and 9 weeks respectively for October to December 2020.

“Timeliness of grants issued can be affected if the case has been ‘stopped’ for any reason (which can occur when there’s a dispute about either who can apply for probate or issues with a will or proposed will, or if an error is identified and a request for further information is made). Probate grants that were stopped during October to December 2020 took 12 weeks on average to be issued, compared to under 5 weeks for those that were not stopped.

“When looking at the time from document receipt (i.e. when all accompanying documents and payment have been confirmed with the application) to grant issue, the time taken is around 1 week quicker than the average time from application submission for probate grants.”

Ian Bond, head of wills & estates at Thursfields and member of The Law Society wills & equity committee responded to the statistics on Twitter saying :

“During 2020, there were 273,258 applications made for grants of representation, up 1% on 2019 with 256,619 #grants issued, up 8%. Q4 2020 saw more applications, more digital applications and quicker to issue. @HMCTSgovuk moving in right direction. #probate”

For more details on the quarterly update click here.

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