Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 25 April 2023.

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Photo of John Spellar John Spellar Labour, Warley

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many probate cases are under consideration in England; and what proportion of those cases have been waiting for a decision for six weeks or more.

Photo of Mike Freer Mike Freer Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

There were 53,253 probate cases in the Open Caseload1 as at 31 December. Of those 30,656 were more than 6 weeks old1. Of the cases over six weeks old 13,536 were stopped, 7,247 were awaiting documentation and 9,873 were ready to progress.

1 Data as at 31 December in line the official published stats. The administration of probate applications is dealt with as a national service, covering England and Wales. The open caseload excludes cases older than 6 months.

2The time outstanding is counted from the application submission date recorded in the case management system, except for digital applications with a Will, where the date of receipt of the original Will by HMCTS is used.

This data is management Information. The management information presented in this table reflects what is recorded on relevant case-management systems on the date of extraction. The case management systems are continually updated and so the information presented will differ from previously published information. Management information can differ from the quality assured MOJ official statistics, which form the agreed definitive position. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the data, the details are subject to inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale case management system and is the best data that is available.

HMCTS has increased resources to meet the higher demand following an increased number of estates requiring probate and is further increasing resourcing to further bring down overall timeliness on digital and paper applications.

The improvement of the online probate system remains a priority for HMCTS, to ensure more applications can be issued first time and resources can be focused on reducing waiting times.

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