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| less than a minute read

Probate process change - a step in the right direction or just shifting the source of delay?

Following the announcement last week that the probate service is now “in recovery” following the replacement of its management team, there was some hope that we might soon start to see some improvement in the persistent delays encountered when applying for a grant of probate.

It has now been announced that, from tomorrow, you will not be able to submit a probate application online without a code from HMRC which confirms that all IHT affairs have been settled.

The content of the announcement is somewhat sparse, but it seems that the new code system replaces the current requirement to wait 20 working days between submitting the IHT papers to HMRC and submitting the online probate application.  

I wonder whether this move will simply shift the delay in obtaining probate from HMCTS to HMRC. Whether or not the overall wait time decreases remains to be seen, and there is always a risk that it will actually increase. It will therefore be more important than ever to manage client expectations around timing for obtaining a grant, and to submit papers to HMRC as early as possible.

From Thursday 18 January 2024, probate professionals who submit probate applications on MyHMCTS must include a code from HM Revenue and Customs confirming inheritance tax affairs have been settled.


probate, private client