Probate Registry Delays

It is not unusual for Probate Registries to suffer backlogs and be slow to turn things around, and it is not unusual for government departments to be delayed by problematic new computer systems, but I am aware of a case where a personal application for a grant was made to the Winchester DPR on 20th April, they cashed the cheque for the application fee on 30th April and the DPR are yet to respond to the Executors over three months later. Is this a record? More seriously, what action can be taken?

Bruce Hogarth-Jones
Plantagenet Partners LLP

An application for non taxable estate (but needed IHT400) was sent on 29th March to Winchester. IHT400 sent same day to HMRC who, six weeks later, advised that it had not yet been ‘captured on the system’. A further four weeks later, they said nothing had happened but did not know why. The IHT421 has since been sent to Winchester (apparently), but I still await the Grant.

I no longer know what to say to my client.

Sarah Targett
Hudsons Solicitors

what action can be taken?

A few years ago, I had a case in Northampton County Court. For four months, they did not respond to my letters and, when I called them by telephone, no-one picked up the call. I informed the Ministry of Justice using Twitter (online social media). I did so in such a way that my message was visible to other people. The Ministry promptly responded using Twitter and we switched to communicating by email. I gave them details of my case. They told me that they would take my grievance up with the court. Soon afterwards the court contacted me and, from then on, the court communicated promptly with me.

Timothy Phillips

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