Solicitors will have to submit probate applications online from next month under legislation laid in parliament, as the government promises a ‘quicker and more reliable’ probate service.
According to the Law Gazette, the statutory instrument mandates that legal professionals use the online system in the majority of probate cases from 2 November. For more complex cases involving multiple claimants where the deceased has no will, paper forms will still be allowed to ensure that proper manual checks take place.
According to the Ministry of Justice, the reforms should see around three quarters of professional user applications move online. According to the latest government figures, just a third of probate applications are currently arriving in digital form.
A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: ‘Our efficient online probate services are simpler, quicker and more reliable, and reduce the stress on grieving families.’ It added that the probate reform programme is expected to generate savings of £20 million over a 10-year period.