Recent Probate Updates Discussed in HMCTS Meeting

February 16, 2024

The ILM and its partner organisations have recently met with HMCTS to discuss several issues.

Further information will be delivered at our monthly update on 23rd February. We have also consulted with our partners at Smee and Ford and Legacy Foresight, and as always we are very grateful to them for their assistance in dealing with this issue.

At the most recent meeting of the Probate Service Users Working Group, we heard that, for the past four months, there has been strong progress at HMCTS, with probate outputs consistently exceeding application levels and cutting into the backlog. During this time, there has been a sustained focus on not only progressing incoming estates but clearing older and more complex stopped cases.

We now understand that in total in 2023 HMCTS issued just under 280,000 grants, which is slightly over the previous record of 276,000, in 2015. As you will know applications exceeded grants issued in the first half of the year, so there are still a considerable number of cases waiting to be issued.

However, we understand that their performance has been sustained in January and February, and we do expect the backlog to fall steadily throughout this year. While many of you will have started to see higher numbers of notifications coming through in recent months, this may not be the case across the board and there is considerable further progress to be made before the older estates are cleared.

HMCTS have put considerable thought and effort into their internal processes and systems, which should enable them to maintain this progress and reduce the number of cases that are stopped.

In the weeks ahead, together with Remember A Charity, we will continue to work with HMCTS to gather further updates on probate output levels, a date for a charity sector webinar and for progress reports on the implementation of a tracking indicator on charitable estates, as announced in November.

Just a reminder that HMCTS is still operating its phone lines from 9am to 1pm Monday to Friday.  Applications can be tracked online at MyHMCTS and queries can be raised via webchat).


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