Research by Final Duties, the UK’s most experienced probate brokers, reveals that the timeline for probate applications has stretched to 12 weeks having increased by 152% since the start of 2023.
Final Duties analysed the latest UK Government data relating to probate processing time to see how the time it takes between submitting a probate request and gaining a grant has changed.
The latest data for Q3 2023, shows that it took an average (median) of 12 weeks from submitting a probate application to a grant being issued.
This marks a 6.4% quarterly increase versus Q2 of last year following a huge 136% increase between Q1 and Q2.
As a result, it now takes six weeks longer to gain a grant than it did at the start of 2023, which is itself an increase of 152%.
As a result, the UK’s probate application time frame is now at its longest since 2019.
The probate process is notoriously difficult to navigate and full of pitfalls, so much so that MPs have committed to a deep dive examination of the process and why it is riddled with so many delays.
Common causes for the ever-growing timeline are suspected to include communication and technical issues between clients, probate professions, and the government, as well as a lack of His Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) staff to deal with problems as they arise.
Not only are staff numbers currently inadequate, but they are dealing with higher demand. 2023 probate applications are estimated to have increased by 5% in 2023 compared to 2022, having already increased by an average of 3% every year since 2020.
This strain is only likely to increase further as we enter into the new year, as previous research from Final Duties has revealed that the first three months of the year are traditionally the busiest time for new probate applications.
Managing Director of Final Duties, Jack Gill, said, “There are a great deal of moving parts within the probate process and so delays can sometimes be inevitable, but it certainly looks as though a lack of staff and a breakdown in communications are to blame for the lengthy timelines customers are currently forced to endure.
The good news is that this hasn’t gone unnoticed and MPs have promised to examine the probate process and its current pitfalls, although we don’t expect this will be a swift process in itself.
In the meantime, the best way to avoid delay is with the help of an experienced probate professional who can help minimise the many pitfalls that can cause frequent delays when trying to go it alone.”