Waiting times for Probate applications
The waiting times for applications is presently running at eighteen weeks. The increase in waiting times is due to Covid restrictions which have caused additional workloads and have increased the time taken to check applications. Practitioners should not contact the Probate Office requesting updates on their applications unless the waiting time exceeds these waiting times. It is unlikely that these waiting times will reduce in the short term. Any change will be notified by way of notice placed on the Probate Section of the Courts Service website.
When placing properties for sale practitioners should take account of this waiting time. The Probate Office will not expedite applications unless there are exceptional circumstances. House sales are not regarded in themselves as exceptional events.
New Fees Order
The Minister for Justice has signed a revised Fees Order to cover the various fees payable in the Probate Office which takes effect from the 1st March 2021. A copy of same can be found below:
Non Assessed papers
Probate applications are non assessed when the applicant has failed to establish title. This can mean that the Oath has not properly set out the title or the applicant has no title or the wrong title has been set out in the Oath. When papers are non assessed they are treated as a new application when they are resubmitted. They do not receive any priority and are subject to the full waiting times that apply to any new case.
Form of Oath and Bond Statutory Instrument 590/20
The Minister for Justice has signed off on an amendment to the Rules of the Superior Courts which will result in significant changes to the forms used in Probate applications. The changes relate to the form of oath and Bond.
For convenience a link to the Statutory Instrument which includes the new forms has been placed on the Probate pages of the Courts Service website.
There will no longer be a stand alone Bond. All bonds have been amalgamated into the form of Oath. The purpose of these changes is to reduce the potential errors which can arise when papers are lodged in the Probate Office.
Practitioners should make themselves aware of these changes and once they are familiar with the new forms all precedent forms should be redrafted to match the new forms set out in the Statutory Instrument.
The new forms come into effect on the 1st March 2021. All new applications must include forms which comply with the Statutory Instrument.
12th January 2021