HMCTS responds to issues from probate professionals

HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) acknowledged that they are aware of the concern expressed by certain probate professionals that they cannot produce the Legal Statement until the code from HMRC has been inputted, according to an update from the Probate Professionals User Group meeting this week.

This week, The Law Society, The Association of Lifetime Lawyers, STEP, ICAEW, CILEX, Remember A Charity, Institute Of Legacy Management and other leading charities meet with HMCTS for a feedback session following the changes to the IHT421 process between HMCTS and HMRC.

HMCTS is gathering input from practitioners and the many organisations who attend the professional user group meetings as they go through a review phase with the new approach. HMCTS will take into account any necessary modifications to the procedure after compiling all of the feedback.

This comes as HMCTS recently revealed the continued delay of probate applications. For the 27,006 grants of probate issued in November, the average timeline from submission to grant was 15.8 weeks – showing an increase from October which was 15.2, according to the data. Bond added:

“Like all organisations present, The Law Society welcomes the continued engagement of HM Courts & Tribunals Service with the User Group, especially in taking feedback on the new process of dealing with the code issued by HMRC to be included on the application to HMCTS for the grant to be issued. The new process should result in less stopped applications from HMCTS; over 9,000 stops last year alone on practitioner sending applications before the 421 issued by HMRC. Almost 1/6 of all calls received by HMRC in the same period were practitioner calls with 421 queries. Less calls and stops means more resources to issue grant applications; at the end of the day all professionals want is the grant applications to be issued correctly, efficiently and in a timely manner.

This new process is one of a number of steps being taken by HMCTS to reduce the backlog of applications, to bring down waiting times, and to ensure greater accuracy and efficiency in the process.”

Regrettably this is not our experience we have a number of applications where we still await the issue of the grant after 38 weeks.

If you would like any further advice, please do not hesitate to contact us:
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