Following a trial of online digital probate applications this past summer, the Government has announced that changes to the process for probate applications by individuals will come into force on 27th November, this is just one month after the initial announcement.

The law, which applies to the Non Contentious Probate Rules 2018, has not been required to go through parliament, and so will come into play next month. It is focused on people who apply personally for Probate, rather than through a probate specialist.

By offering a digital process, the government hopes the application will be simpler and easier for people to navigate through.

But there are concerns in the industry that this manes some individuals will try to go through the process without the professional expertise they may need, due to their circumstances so therefore possibly increasing the number of contentious probate cases.

The new process allows a single ‘statement of truth’ to now be enough, instead of the current requirement of multiple people having to sign the document. The digital process will also allow to individuals to question an estate, and allows such things as the ability to research the grant of application.

Trevor Cross, BTWC MD says, “After 20 years of providing a probate service to clients, we fully understand the vast array of issues, needs and challenges that can be raised during the Probate process. Whilst it may seem upfront the digital application may be quicker, it’s just worth assessing the long-term requirements and making sure the chosen process is suitable. There is no doubt the online system will certainly be helpful to some people but this will not be the case for all, and it’s worth understanding your options beforehand.”

If any of your clients are going through or have asked for your advice we can help answer all types of probate queries, supporting you and your clients.