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How the coronavirus pandemic affected probate

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​Over the last two years, the Coronavirus pandemic has sadly led to a surge in applications for probate, adding to the pressure on an already overstretched system. The introduction of an online service for probate applications which initially experienced teething problems, a newly centralised Probate Registry and closure of several District Probate Registries, and delays with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) issuing the necessary 421 receipt needed for probate, have all contributed to significant delays for those dealing with the administration of someone’s estate have experienced.

Delays can be a source of real anxiety for executors and administrators who feel pressure to deal with estates assets, such as selling and transferring property and investments, closing bank accounts, and making distributions to beneficiaries. This can be particularly distressing for those who lost much loved members of their family and were thrown headlong into dealing with probate for the very first time during the pandemic.

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