Posted: Friday, 4 January 2019 @ 13:43
Many thanks to the Step Blog who have revealed that the government has announced amendments to the procedure for applying for probate in England and Wales, with less than a month’s notice.
The changes include:
Personal online applications for probate to be made by an unrepresented applicant;
Enable all applications for probate to be verified by a statement of truth (instead of an oath) and without the will having to be marked (by the applicant, solicitor or probate practitioner);
Extend time limits in the caveat process, which give the person registering the caveat notice of any application for probate;
Allow caveat applications and standing searches (which give notice of grants being issued) to be made electronically;
Extend the powers of district probate registrars equivalent to those of district judges; and
make further provision for the issue of directions (instructions to the parties) in relation to hearings.
As the blog points out the Probate Service has accepted online applications from personal applicants since earlier this year, with a view to making the system simpler and ‘easier to understand’.
I think this will lead to more DIY probate applications and should speed the process up.
This is absolutely fine if the executor knows what he or she is doing but becomes slightly more concerning if the executor does not know what he is doing.
With respects to the lodging caveats stand by for more wannabee litigants firing caveats and not necessarily thinking of the consequences.