Probate rule change means it will be easier to apply for a Grant of Probate

Garner & Hancock unlocks the issues on the changes to the probate rules

Without much warning the government has introduced dramatic changes to probate rules. They will come to force on 27th November 2018 and we would like to provide you with a brief summary of the new procedure which is likely to affect majority of probate applications.

This is a brief summary of the changes:

  1. ‘Lay’ applicants (executors and PRs not using a solicitor) will be able to make online applications for a Grant of Representation.
  2. Application for probate will not have to be accompanied with sworn oaths. Mere statements of truth will suffice.
  3. Extension to the caveat process, giving applicants objecting to a Grant being issued more time. Also, these caveat applications can now be made online.
  4. District probate registrars will have extended powers similar to those of district judges.
  5. Further powers are given to probate registrars in relation to issuing hearing directions (instructions to litigating parties).

How we can help

While we at Garner & Hancock appreciate that the new rules can streamline the probate process for small and straightforward estates, the changes have every potential to give headaches to many executors choosing to make applications without the use of a solicitor. Applicants failing to obtain Grants of Representation may decide to seek legal help too late in the estate administration process making their legal bills higher than necessary.

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