HMCTS has confirmed the Birmingham District Probate Registry will be the first registry to close and this occurred on 31st August 2019, this is due to probate being handled by their new Courts & Tribunals Service Centres (CTSCs).
Probate work has been slowly moving away from the Birmingham Registry Office since March 2019 and all digital applications have been moved to the new CTSC. However, any paper applications received are being re-directed to the Newcastle Registry Office.
In a letter from HMCTS’ chief executive, Susan Acland-Hood outlined the move to new CTSCs ‘as part of the HMCTS Reform Programme to modernise courts and tribunals’ adding that ‘the probate service is becoming a digitally-enabled national service.’
The CEO of HMCTS clarified why there have been prolonged delays on probate applications by saying ‘A large increase in probate applications in March and April, combined with the introduction of new systems, has meant longer waiting times for probate than we would like.’
The letter continued by outlining how they propose to tackle the issue by saying ‘we will continue to support probate with increased staffing and help from other parts of HMCTS until waiting times return to normal.’
In regards to future closures of probate registries, HMCTS advise there will be forthcoming closures.
8 January 2020
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