Online Probate Applications and IHT421

We are discovering that what seems to be 100% of our (relevant) applications are being held up by the Probate Registry not receiving the IHT421 which HMRC claim to have already sent. Once HMRC are contacted directly they resend the IHT421 and the grant will be issued shortly afterwards.

Is anyone/everyone else finding this too? Or, are we just unlucky?

In good news, however, we are receiving simple applications back within 3-4 weeks now (still waiting for some from March though)

Chris Shaw
Graysons Solicitors

1 Like

We have found exactly the same problem Chris. I dealt with HMRC by webchat then did the same with the Probate Registry armed with the date the Revenue said they had emailed it to the Court.

Such a painfully slow process …

Kathy Melkerts

Melkerts Solicitors

Yes I’m afraid I am also experiencing this type of incompetence at hmrc/probate registry and as I posted a little while ago, 2 straightforward Applications submitted in March/April took over 4 months to be dealt with and involved us having to chase them on a number of occasions. I am aware that some grants are indeed now arriving sooner but bearing in mind that prior to the new computer system being purchased, many probates were taking 1 to 3 weeks. I suppose that’s progress!

Patrick Moroney
BWL Solicitors

I am finding that HMRC are sending the IHT 421 direct but failing to inform me that they have done so.

Gemma Hambright

The whole process seems to have ground to a halt. Whether this is due to Covid or to the shambolic new procedures, I do not know.

I am waiting to receive several Grants. In one of the estates I sent the IHT400 to HMRC in early May. It is a large estate but qualifies in its entirety for the spouse exemption, so there is no question of inheritance tax being payable. When I heard that HMRC are now sending the IHT421 to HMCTS, I sent the other papers in that estate to the Probate Registry in early June, three months ago, and I have not yet received the Grant. In some other estates I have received a letter from HMRC saying that they had sent the IHT421 to HMCTS but I did not hear anything from them in that particular estate, so I do not know whether the delay is on the part of HMRC or HMCTS.

It is getting increasingly difficult to explain the delay to clients.

Cliona O’Tuama


I had similar but was advised that the problem was that HMRC had spelt the deceased’s name incorrectly in the subject line of the email sending the IHT421 so the Probate Registry had not allocated it to the case.

Nigel Scase
Greene & Greene

As I said in my post earlier today, in some estates HMRC have told me that they have sent the IHT421 to HMCTS but in other estates they have not told me anything, which makes it impossible to know what is happening.

Cliona O’Tuama


I was in a networking event where a senior member at HMRC answered our questions. Their system was just to email the IHT421’s as a pdf attachment and this meant HMCTS couldn’t search for each application/allocate them. They have changed the system so that the details should be in the subject line of the email. For any you have outstanding they suggest contacting HMRC and asking them to resend with the words “re-submitted” in the subject line so they can prioritise those ones. Even then, though, it is hit and miss as this has worked for some of mine but not all of them. Hopefully that helps.

Jade Gani
Aston Bond

Surely it would make sense for HMRC to put the name of the deceased and the date of death in the subject line so as to make it relatively easy for HMCTS to search for the IHT421 in any particular estate. Does sense no longer apply in this new chaotic procedure?

Cliona O’Tuama

In a further development, HMCTS seem to have begun to ask for the original Statement of Truth to be sent in, even though they state that they only require copies on the application.

Chris Shaw
Graysons Solicitors