Solicitors for the Elderly condemn probate delays
Solicitors for the Elderly has condemned the probate registry after carrying out a poll to gauge the impact of the ongoing delays in applying for Probate. The background to these delays is the decision to make all probate applications online when the system does not work properly.
Over half (57%) of legal professionals surveyed reported that they were experiencing delays of between nine and twenty weeks when applying for Grants of Probate. Worryingly, 8% reported that they had experienced delays in excess of thirty two weeks.
Confidence in the probate system was low with 96% percent saying that the new probate system was unfit for purpose and 95% reporting that the recent changes to the probate system had caused grieving families to face unacceptable extra heartache. In terms of impact on families 93% percent said that their clients were suffering extra distress at what was already a difficult time.
In addition to the emotional strain there has also been significant financial hardship: 57% of legal professionals surveyed reported that they had seen a client’s house sale fall through due to the delays, while 31% said the delays had led to unpaid inheritance tax or additional interest and penalties being imposed.