Probate Service: Standards

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 27th October 2021.

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Photo of James Daly James Daly Conservative, Bury North

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps she is taking to help tackle the time taken by the Probate Registry to (a) deal with enquiries from legal practitioners and members of the public and (b) process applications.

Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office)

HMCTS is currently onboarding new staff to address Probate contact, and as a result of recent focus on clearing stopped cases, we have seen a reduction in the average time to handle calls. Legal Practitioners can track the progress of their digital applications through their MyHMCTS account.

Despite the unprecedented challenges faced by the Probate Service during the Covid-19 pandemic, the average length of time taken for a grant of probate following the receipt of the documents required has been maintained at between four to six weeks. Probate resource is being stabilised and will result in more staff being focussed on issuing grants to further drive-up disposals.

The most recently published information regarding combined waiting times for a grant of probate, on paper and digital cases, covers April 2021 to June 2021 and is published on via Family Court Statistics Quarterly (Table 25): Family Court Statistics Quarterly: April to June 2021 - GOV.UK. (

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