Updated Grants Of Representation Compulsory From Monday
The eight-week introductory period for the new standard grant of representation application forms will lapse from Monday May 18.
Any probate application using outdated methods involving a ‘statement of truth’ will now face delays as their forms, including the old statement of truth, ‘will be returned with a request for the appropriate new form.’
The new forms have been in circulation since March 23 and now usurp older iterations using statements of truth.
The new forms have been designed to digitise information from the outset of the process so that it can be instantly inserted into the systems. It is hoped that the new forms and digital processes will reduce the numbers of errors and speed up the probate process.
HM Courts and Tribunals Service had originally planned a four week introductory period which ran from March 23 to April 20, but following feedback from practitioners, they decided to double the introductory period, with a deadline ending on May 18.
The HMCTS letter stated:
“We have received some valuable feedback in respect of the transitional arrangements. Having considered your feedback we have reviewed these arrangements in light of the current unprecedented situation regarding COVID-19 and have extended the transition period from 4 weeks to 8 weeks. This is to enable practitioners sufficient time to progress any inflight cases that you have already been working on.
“We would advise that any new work which is undertaken should now be completed by either using the new paper application forms (electronic signatures including typed signatures will be accepted) or applying online. HMCTS is actively encouraging the use of online applications as this enables us to maintain the service whilst many of our staff are also remote working.
“Some of the feedback received questioned why we are introducing the new forms when everyone in the system is under so much pressure. The overriding reason is to enable us to utilise our bulk scanning service which digitises the paper applications and allows us to work remotely. This will help ensure your clients still receive their grants during this significant disruption to our normal business.”
The three redesigned forms replacing the old statement of truth include the PA1A (applying for grant of letters of administration), PA1P (applying for a grant of probate), PA8A (applying for a caveat).
Whilst the sector adjusts to new remote working approaches, it will become important to also consider these new forms when making grant of representation applications in order to avoid requisitions and delays to the probate process.
The new forms can be bulk scanned remotely which enables HMCTS to work a lot more effectively in a remote environment. This is a lot more complicated with statements of truth which come in myriad styles and fonts making them a lot more cumbersome to process.
Are you now using the new application forms? Have they improved the process of applying for grants of representation?