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  • Emma Walsh

Probate delays worsening across the board, new data reveals

New data from HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has revealed that probate delays are continuing to grow for digital, paper, stopped, and not stopped applications.

The total time taken from submission to grant issue for all probate applications, including both digital and paper, was 9.3 weeks in September 2022.

This represents the biggest delay seen since October 2021. It’s a climb of 5.7% from the previous month of August, and is a striking 16.3% higher than delays seen as recently as April of this year.

The total number of receipts was 20,486 in September, over 2,000 less than in August and over 1,000 less than September of last year.

21,765 grants were issued in September, of which 17,895 were digital. The average time taken from submission to grant for a digital application was 7.2 weeks. For those not stopped, this was 4.2 weeks. Stopped applications took an average of 15.2 days.

The remaining 3,870 paper grants took an average of 18.6 days – over two-and-a-half times the time taken for the average digital application, and 40% longer than the average delay of 13.3 in September 2021.

For stopped paper applications, the average delay was 27.3 days up from 19.2 days this time last year. For those not stopped, the average wait was 11.9 days.

This comes as Ministry of Justice data for Q2 2022 revealed probate delays began to slightly ease earlier in the year, though a different picture emerges from the more recent data provided by HMCTS.

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