Probate Registry warn of further delays
When a loved one passes away, someone needs to take responsibility for arranging their affairs by paying their debt and distributing assets to the intended recipients. That person is known as a Personal Representative.
What is Probate?
‘Probate’ is the common name referred to the process required to obtain formal recognition of the Personal Representative and involves an application to the Probate Registry – a division of the Court.
How long does it take for Probate to be granted?
Unfortunately, in recent years the time taken by the Courts to process probate applications has reached unprecedented levels. The Covid-19 pandemic was a major contributing factor to these delays and at the peak in 2020 applicants were waiting 6 months or more to receive a Grant.
The Courts have worked hard to try to reduce the backlog and waiting times started to come down to around 8 weeks earlier in 2022. However, the Court has recently announced that high demand has caused waiting times to be increased to 16 weeks.
Manzurul Islam, Head of Wills and Probate, said:
“With half of all Courts closing between 2010-10 it is no wonder the Court system is overwhelmed and under-resourced. Sadly, in recent years we have become accustomed to long delays in obtaining Probate.
The concern is that the current waiting time of 16 weeks will only increase as we head into the winter months and period of recession. This will have a huge impact on grieving families and prevent them from finalising the affairs of their loved ones; a key part of the grieving process.
For probate professionals, there is only so much we can do to progress matters for Personal Representatives. The time taken by third parties, such as the Probate Registry, is usually the biggest cause of delays and will impact on the overall time needed for an estate to be finalised, with many likely to take over a year.”