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Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 137112, tabled on 13 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what average time has been taken by his Department to issue a grant of probate after receipt of an application in the most recent period for which that information is available.

Answered on

18 January 2021

Data showing the volume of applications for Grant of Probate that are outstanding includes both cases that have not yet been issued and also all cases which could not be processed by HMCTS, on initial receipt, due to missing or inaccurate information (cases which are ‘stopped’):

Outstanding1 Grant of Probate Application at 27 December 2020, England and Wales 1,2, 3, 4


Volume of outstanding applications

Volume of stopped applications




  1. The number of grant applications submitted but not yet withdrawn or issued. Dormant Applications have been excluded.
  2. Stopped cases are a subset of the volumes of cases and include cases with a status of 'Case stopped re-issue', 'Case Stopped', 'Stopped'.
  3. Data and management information and may differ from previously published data. are not subject to the same level of checks as official statistics. Data in line with published MI (14/1/2021).
  4. Data has not been cross referenced with case files and are not subject to the same level of checks as official statistics.

The overall volume of outstanding cases has been steadily reducing in recent months.

The most recently published information regarding waiting times for a grant of probate covers July 2020 to September 2020 and is published on via Family Court Statistics Quarterly (Table 26):

Average time to grant issue for probate grants, England and Wales 1,2, 3

Application submission to grant issue

Document receipt to grant issue3

Mean weeks

Median weeks

Mean weeks

Median weeks

July 2020 to September 2020





Source HMCTS Core Case Data

  1. HMCTS Core Case Data (CCD) came into effect at the end of March 2019, following a transition between data systems recording information regarding The Probate Service.
  2. The average timeliness figures are produced by calculating the time from application/document receipt (which may be from an earlier period) to the grant issued made in that period.
  3. Document receipt occurs after payment has been made and all accompanying paperwork has been received by HMCTS.

In 2020 the level of applications being made increased and the service faced unprecedented challenges due to the impact of Covid 19.

Despite this, and as a result of HMCTS increasing resources to meet demand, the average length of time taken for a Grant of Probate to be issued improved quarter on quarter throughout the year.

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