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Delays affecting stopped probate applications continue to worsen

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elays are continuing to worsen across the board for stopped probate applications, new data from HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has revealed.

The average wait across all probate applications increased to 9.4 weeks in November 2022, up from 9.3 weeks in the previous two months.

Notably, there is in fact a glimmer of hope that things are improving in areas: the wait between submission and grant issue for digital applications has fallen to 3.7 weeks for non-stopped applications – the lowest level since December 2021.

Accordingly, the average wait between submission and grant issue for all digital probate applications is down 6.8% to 6.9 weeks.

This does not, however, tell the full story. For stopped applications, the picture is bleak. For digital applications that are stopped, the wait increased by 6.8% to 17.2 weeks – or over four months – between October and November last year.

The wait is even longer for stopped paper applications, sitting at 26.7 weeks – over half a year – in November, and 24.8% longer than the delays seen at the same time in 2021. The delay for non-stopped paper applications also increased to 14.6 weeks.

The total number of probate receipts sat at 24,438, 1.7% higher than the previous month and some 6.5% higher than figures seen in November 2021. Of these, 19,568, or four in five, were digital.

The number of grants issued, however, fell by 1.7% month-on-month, though remained above the average seen throughout the rest of 2022.