Online probate service expanded in national trial

HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) have launched a national pilot allowing all legal professionals to access an online probate service.

Online Probate Service HMCTS

What is the online probate service?

A national pilot has been launched by HMCTS to increase access to their online probate service. The service had initially been available to over 50 law firms, who have used real cases to help test and improve the system.

The national trial, which launched on 1 October, has expanded the offering to all legal professionals who can make applications for probate, intestacy or a grant of representation.

What is offered by the online probate service?

Online applications can be made for any probate, intestacy or a grant of letters of administration. However, the service for caveats will remain a paper application. Applications can be submitted at any time of day and will be instantly uploaded to the system.

The service will allow law firms to manage their own account on the system, where they can view probate applications in a single dashboard and monitor the stages of their applications online. This will lessen the need for legal professionals to phone the HMCTS for updates.

Who can use the online probate service?

Before being accepted onto the national pilot, all users must have a pay-by-account (PBA). This will enable them to use the HMCTS fee account system to pay for online applications.

Chair of the Law Society’s wills and equity committee Ian Bond and his firm, Talbots Law, have been part of the pilot from its initial launch. He said:

“The digitisation of the process means that in most uncontested applications the online service has made the system much easier for our solicitors and a better experience for our clients […] While the online system started with applications where a will existed, it has developed and will continue to be developed to cover a broader range of applications in the future.”

The Law Society is keen to stress that the online probate service is still a work in progress and has called for users to send any feedback to

See also

Place a Deceased Estates notice

What to do after someone dies: a checklist

Find out more

Applying for probate (Gov)

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