Probate Registry Telephone Lines Restricted for 12 weeks

Probate is the legal and financial process of dealing with the estate of a deceased person. The Grant of Probate gives the right to the Executor(s) to deal with someone’s estate when they die. It gives permission to action the deceased’s will, which includes selling property, distributing assets, and dealing with any liabilities against the deceased’s estate. 

Probate applications are currently taking up to 12 months to process and so the Justice Committee launched an investigation into the probate delays in November 2023, after waiting times doubled between April 2022 and April 2023. 

Official guidelines suggest that it should take up to 16 weeks to be granted probate, but current delays, first caused by the pandemic and the implementation of new online systems, mean that some families are waiting more than a year. 

The Probate Office has announced that it will restrict access to its helpline for 12 weeks to enable its staff to concentrate on processing the backlog of applications. During this period their telephone lines will be open from 9.00am to 1.00pm only.

Speaking about the decision, Colin Wooldridge, specialist Wills, Probate and Trusts Solicitor Colin Wooldridge commented:

“Dealing with a loved one’s estate can be upsetting and stressful for Executors and Beneficiaries at the best of times.  Grieving relatives may be unable to sell assets, such as the deceased’s home, before they are granted Probate and delays in issuing the Grant of Probate can sometimes lead to property deals falling through.  Families are expected to pay any inheritance tax bills for the estate within 6 months of death to avoid incurring interest penalties, many families pay money on account before probate is granted. Delays in issuing Grant of Probate can create uncertainty for relatives. “

At Liverpool Legal we have highly experienced, friendly and qualified lawyers dealing with the Probate Office and other organisations on your behalf to deal with your Probate matters in the timeliest manner possible.

For further information contact Colin on 0151 702 5400, send an email to or enter your details onto our contact form.

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Colin is a specialist Property Lawyer. He studied at Manchester Metropolitan University and BBP Law School, Manchester. Colin qualified as a Solicitor in 2008 and has specialised in Property Law for the last 7 years. He has extensive experience in all aspects of property law and has dealt with the full range of residential property conveyancing matters from starter homes to properties exceeding one million pounds. Colin deals with both residential and commercial property matters throughout the UK and he has a reputation among his clients for dealing with their property matters quickly professionally and efficiently. In his free time, he enjoys holidaying in Ireland with his family and playing tennis.