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Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 265484, tabled on 17 June 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the average length of time for probate to be granted in the last (a) three months and (b) financial year.

Answered on

17 July 2019

Official statistics are not published on the average length of time from receipt of the application to the issue of a grant of probate. Internal management information, which is not subject to the rigorous quality assurance processes of official statistics, however shows that in the last financial year (2018/2019) the average time was three weeks.

Whilst timeliness data are not yet available for the last three months, it is clear that waiting times have increased. Urgent action has been taken to address these temporary delays, staffing has been increased and the digital service further improved, and as a result waiting times are starting to reduce.

There are no prescribed target times for dealing with probate applications. The recent increase in waiting times has been caused by a combination of an increased volume of incoming work and the transition to a new case management IT system. The move to the new system meant that staff had to spend time being trained and familiarising themselves with the system – which also had some initial performance issues that have been addressed.