2 years on from the start of the pandemic and things are starting to go back to normal. The pandemic caused people from every industry to adapt to working from home and the legal sector was no different. Delays to the probate process have been present due to home working but other factors have also been at play. Brexit has also had a deep impact on probate with the redeployment of tax experts from HMRC to various Brexit task forces. This in turn has changed the way the probate process operates and has caused some teething problems, and this was prior to the covid 19 outbreak. The pandemic on top of this has caused huge delays to the administration process.
What has caused probate delays?
The order requiring remote working had a major impact on HMRC. The IHT helpline switching to home working created huge issues mainly due to HMRC primarily communicating by post. The lack of an office environment has resulted in correspondence going missing or not being sent. This issue is still present as some of HMRC case workers remain working from home where other colleagues work from the office. This lack of direct communication has caused correspondence for printing and posting to fail. These issues have thankfully improved, none the less, issues remain.
Anyone who has been dealing with probate for more than a few years will remember the days of regional Probate Registries. Small teams of specialists manned the probate registry and could be contacted quickly and deal with any issues fast. Due to financial and efficiency reasons, most probate registries have now been closed. This means most probate applications are not carried out by specialists. People are attempting the entire probate process themselves, however, this can lead to confusion and future obstacles if not carried out correctly.
However, there is a favourable alternative. Blanchards deal with all facets of the probate process. We work hands on to assure the process is carried out quickly and efficiently, updating you every step of the way. It is a safe alternative to obtaining probate yourself which has only been emphasised since the pandemic.
In summary, both the HMRC and probate service have been problematic through the last 2 years. The delays to the probate process have been distressing especially over the pandemic with family suddenly passing and having to deal with probate for the first time. If you are going through loss, avoid the confusion and put trust in us at no cost to you. For more information, please contact us and follow us on LinkedIn.