Atterbury Payne Solicitors

UK Probate Service in Crisis: Inquiry Calls for Reform

Recent analysis of Ministry of Justice data reveals a 65% increase in probate cases lasting over a year. These delays are causing significant emotional and financial strain on families already dealing with loss. An inquiry by the House of Commons Justice Select Committee was launched to address these issues but was suspended when the General Election was called. Despite the halt in the inquiry, the probate service problems remain unresolved.

Although the committee’s full report was not completed, Sir Robert Neill KC MP, the committee chair, wrote to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice, Mike Freer MP, summarising key findings.

Recommendations for Reform

The inquiry made several recommendations to enhance the probate system:

  • Public Report: Issue a public report detailing the causes of the failures to prevent future issues.
  • Collaboration: Work with relevant groups to address problems like empty homes and care home debt linked to probate delays.
  • Increased Transparency: Share more data on caseloads and processing times to improve transparency.
  • Regulation of Will Writing: Protect consumers by regulating the will-writing sector, as many will writers are currently unregulated. Seeking advice from a qualified lawyer is recommended.

The inquiry underscores the importance of a functional probate system, urging swift action to restore public trust and implement reforms to reduce distress and financial loss for grieving families.

It’s never been more important to ensure your probate needs are carried out effecively. Our team, including Accredited Lifetime Lawyers with specialised training, continues to advocate for improvements in the probate service for our clients, now and post-election. For expert advice on probate, please contact our team

Click to read the full probate inquiry letter from committee chair, Sir Robert Neill KC MP.

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