The Ministry of Justice has recently announced that it has launched an online probate service.
The probate application system is available to most named Executors in England and Wales and allows up to four joint applicants to apply, pay and submit a statement of truth on line.
The system can be used if:
- The deceased was a permanent resident in England and Wales
- The applicant has the original will and
- The applicant is named as an Executor
The Ministry of Justice has said that 'for most people, a visit to the probate registry or solicitor's office is no longer needed'.
This statement could be dangerous for many Executors. Whilst this service is to be welcomed for simple estates, there is concern that most lay Executors do not realise the extent of the personal liability that they are taking on when administering an estate. An estate can also be more complex if there are legacies to charities.
Taking advice from a solicitor specialising in probate work when applying for a Grant of Probate could be a safe course of action for many Executors. Such advice could give peace of mind and of course, solicitors have indemnity insurance in place to protect the public in the uniquely event of an error being made.
To discuss this or any other probate related matter, contact us.