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Could Probate Become Digital?

If you have been keeping up with the news lately, and especially if you are a business owner, you won’t have failed to notice that there is a new idea for ‘making tax digital’. It is the latest government initiative to save time, money, and hopefully effort when it comes to filling in VAT and tax returns.

Could the same be about to happen with probate?

Going digital has its advantages, no matter what you are doing digitally. It is faster, there is less paperwork involved, there is less room for error, and you can still ask for help and advice whenever you need it. So when it comes to probate, going digital could speed up the traditionally very slow process, even when experts such as IWC Probate Services are involved to help. This means people can become frustrated, tired, arguments can break out, and for executors it can take a real toll, especially if they also have to work a full time job and have a family to look after.

The quicker it all takes the better.

There is a new online program that has been designed to make probate faster by encouraging people to do it all online. It isn’t mandatory, and bugs are still being ironed out – it is a beta version – but it should help to clear the backlog. It may even mean that those using the traditional route will have their cases dealt with more quickly because the automated service will be taking on what would traditionally have needed human intervention.

This new site was the brainchild of the probate service, a group of solicitors, and HM Courts and Tribunals Service who all agree that the time probate takes far too long and that there is no need for this. Every year there are approximately 280,000 new probate cases, and if the majority of these could be done online it would free up a lot of time and make the process so much smoother.

Tony Crocker