'Expedited Grant Application Process'

I have just read an article in the Title Research’s leaflet/magazine ‘Entitlement’, talking about the Probate application process - more about if an application is or becomes urgent.
The author of the article states ‘There is an expedited Grant application process…’.
However, he doesn’t say what this is, or where to find it.

Is there? I haven’t found it yet - am I missing something which would make my life easier in certain estates?
Can anyone point me in its direction?

I do not know of a specific process to expedite. However I had a matter very recently where we needed a Grant urgently to be able to comply with a County Court Order. I contacted HMCTS with a copy of the order and the grant was issued within a couple of days.

Rather ironically, on a separate matter, I had emailed HMCTS previously asking if a Grant Ad Colligena Bona would be expedited or whether it would languish at the bottom of the difficult pile! I am still waiting for a response to that email.

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I saw this article too and following some further enquiry discovered the following - a note of which I saved. Unfortunately, I did not record its source:

Where the PR’s of a deceased’s estate face circumstances requiring urgent action that necessitates a grant application and all the information is available for a full grant application to be made, then an expedited grant application should be made rather than an application for a grant ACB.

  1. HMCTS - Form PA18 “Pre-lodgement enquiry” submitted - panel 4 sets out facts, also if the application is to be made on the My HMCTS portal or via a paper application, and, if Welsh language required or not, and, panel 5 requests expedited grant.

  2. Send via email to contact email (contactprobate@justice.gov.uk).

  3. Subject line “EXPEDITED GRANT APPLICATION” and include a PDF;

  4. HMCTS advise on the next steps, including any other information needed, normally within 48 hours of receiving and validating that it is a genuine expedited grant application.

  5. Once confirmed the application for the expedited grant is made to HMCTS either via the portal or using forms PA1A or PA1P.

  6. Portal state urgent application in comments box. For paper complete box 2.15 to indicate expedited grant. Set out application basis in box 2.16. (no precedent wording but must clearly set out the legal basis of expedition).

  7. Send to Newcastle DPR or Cardiff if paper – Harlow (as directed) online.

Note no cover letter – just a sheet of paper that says “EXPEDITED GRANT APPLICATION” in large bold text. HMCTS may give you a specific reference and named person to also note on the cover sheet. Applicant keep a full scanned copy of the above as PDF documents.

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I feel like secret knowledge of an arcane ritual has been revealed to me. I rolled up a trouser leg just in case (Masons reference in case anybody is worried).

This should be publicly available but i’m guessing it was just mentioned somewhere in passing in the expectation it would magically diffuse out across the profession.

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Thank you everyone - especially Peter for his researches. I will certainly make a note of this.
Usually I have just emailed in when the Grant is urgently required, having submitted the application beforehand - sometimes it works!
However, I am now struggling to get a response to a paper application sent to Newcastle, even though the HMCTS helpline says there is no other way to contact them - even they don’t have a phone number. All very stressful in cases which should be straightforward.

The Law Society provided further guidance on getting HMCTS’ attention for ad colligenda bona grants:

"If you’re having trouble with ‘ad colligenda bona’ applications, email HMCTS with the subject line “URGENT AD COLLIGENDA BONA” and include:

  • case number
  • deceased details
  • where you have sent the application (paper applications submitted to the Newcastle Registry)

HMCTS will call you/the applicant to confirm receipt of the email and application and advise on next steps, including any other information needed.

This will normally be within 48 hours of receiving and validating the application."

Presumably the above has already been followed based on your post so it’s interesting to note the guidance isn’t particularly useful if that’s the case!

The Ad Colligenda Grant and Expedited Grant process were covered in webinar presented by Ian Bond from Irwin Mitchell and Stephen Burgess of HMCTS. Both topics were covered (as well as the changes which have just been made to the online probate application process) . For anyone interested, the webinar was free via Estate Research and should now be available on their webinar portal.

Thanks will have a look at this but this expedited system not widely known by many people I think! Not very helpful - it does feel like they hide things away and you’re just supposed to know about it.

I have tried this procedure and an sorry to say that it does not appear to work.

I waited over a week for a response from HMCTS before sending in my paper application to Newcastle. I sent a copy of the PA18 I had emailed to HMCTS with my application and said I had had no response. I did this is the vain hope that my application might be processed a little be quicker than normal! I still haven’t received any response from HMCTS to the original email with the PA18 (now sent more than 2 weeks ago).

That is extremely frustrating. I suppose in those circumstances there is little else to be done than follow the initial procedure and send further regular chasers when there is, inevitably, no prompt response…

It’s certainly a caveat I provide to clients when discussing expedited and Ad Colligenda Bona grants, that it is by no means a quicker procedure and likely costlier given the extra correspondence required to try and get it deal with on an urgent basis.

Further on this. I have today received confirmation from a Probate Officer at the Newcastle District Probate Registry that the PA18 is not to be used for requesting applications to be expedited.

If submitting by post, the application should be posted to the correct Registry with a covering letter outlining the circumstances necessary for the grant to be expedited. The article that has been circulating (I too cannot find the source) therefore appears incorrect.

Nice of the Registry to wait until I send a follow up to my initial PA18 to confirm that it isn’t the correct way to expedite of course!