A Solicitor's Guide to the Changes Made to the Probate Process in the UK in 2023

As a solicitor in the UK, it is paramount to stay informed and updated on the changes made to the probate process. In 2023, significant changes were made to the probate process, and as a result, it has become imperative than ever for solicitors to be familiar with the new measures. The new probate process, which affects all estates in the UK, takes on an entirely digital approach. Furthermore, the courts have made mandatory the use of a new digital platform, which has added an entirely new layer to the process. As a solicitor, this guide gives you a comprehensive overview and guide to navigating the new probate process.

Digital Approach to Probate: The new probate process has an entirely digital approach; this means that all forms and the entire process will be online. This approach aims to increase efficiency and speed up the probate process and eliminate the need for physical forms. However, as a solicitor, you should note that this new approach can lead to minor errors, and you should verify that all details are accurate before submitting any form.

Mandatory Use of a Digital Platform: Another significant development in the new probate process is the mandatory use of a digital platform. The platform, Probate Service, will be used for all probate applications and will serve as the new portal for filing all probate forms. While the new platform is convenient and efficient, as a solicitor, you should ensure that you are familiar with the platform’s user interface and functionality.

New Fees Structure: A new fee structure will be introduced in 2023 and will replace the current fees. The administration fee will depend on the value of the estate and ranges from £250 to £6,000. As a solicitor, you should take note of these fees and inform your clients accordingly. The new fees are based on the net value of the estate and exclude liabilities, debts, and some exemptions.

Grants of Probate: Grants of probate are still necessary, and their function has not changed. A grant of probate is required when a person dies with a will, giving the executor the power to administer the estate and distribute assets according to the will’s terms. As a solicitor, it is paramount to ensure that clients have the right grant of probate to administer the estate accurately.

As a solicitor, navigating the new probate process can be a daunting task, but thorough knowledge of the new requirements will enable you to provide your clients with accurate and efficient service. Ensure that you take the time to review the new regulations, fees structures, and the new digital platform to ensure a smooth probate process. By following these guidelines, you will ease the worries of your clients, and provide fast, efficient, and accurate services.