Bereaved families who are suffering the loss of a loved one are now having to deal with the pain of the Probate Registry delays. One family commented to us:- "We really are at our wit's end and are worried that we may lose the buyer we have for mum's house. We put the house on the market in good faith back in March as the Gov.UK probate website said 20 days, but they haven't worked within their guidelines”.
Some families are having to start paying Council tax as they cannot sell the property without the Grant of Probate. Others cannot access funds to pay debts without the Grant of Probate.
Up until March 2019 the Probate Registry turnaround time for issuing the Grant of Probate was approximately 2 weeks. Now Executors are experiencing delays of up to 13 weeks with documents being held at the Probate Registry whist a technical issue and back log is being resolved.
The wisdom behind the timing of introducing the new system is questionable as it coincided with a proposed Probate fee hike (see our article here entitled:- Probate fee increase – a stealth tax?) which caused a run on probate applications.
My advice to Government, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”!