Creating a Will Made Easier by New Online Improvements

The past year has provided an opportunity to reflect on our lives and review how we can prepare for the future. Later life planning has increased not only as a means to ensure our own security but to equally provide peace of mind for our loved ones, especially when it comes to making a will.

The latest approximate figures from the sector show that the number of probate grants noticeably increased last year with around 260,000 issued in 2020 compared to 237,130 in 2019. Official numbers are to be published by the Ministry of Justice next month.

Whether you are a homeowner, run a business, or simply want to protect your financial assets after your passing, making a will guarantees that your wishes will be followed and that your family are fully supported.

Positive News on Probates

Earlier this month, Law Gazette reported that the HM Courts and Tribunals Service had significantly reduced the time between applying for and receiving a grant of probate over the past three months, with hopes that the figure will continue to fall further (‘Probate Delays Falling Despite Pandemic’, February 3, 2021). With multiple lockdowns resulting in increased waiting times for many legal procedures, this comes as positive news for the sector.

The HMCTS launched a new online process in November 2020, which all solicitors now use to make grant applications. Despite some initial uncertainty, most legal professionals have embraced its introduction with HMCTS reporting a “healthy uptake in the digital service” during January 2021.

Furthermore, the government recruited new employees and provided training to existing staff previously working in court hearings to support the management of online applications. There is now an average waiting period of four weeks for requests submitted online and eight weeks for paper forms, with the latter time said to be “reducing rapidly”.

Support with Making a Will

While the term ‘later life planning’ might suggest we leave such matters to the future, setting our personal affairs in order in the present climate has never been more imperative. There is also no need to wait until the end of lockdown, as making a new will or adjusting an existing document can still be completed with social distancing measures in place.

Over the past year, it has also become important to ensure that legal records are reviewed and updated to accurately reflect any updates to your circumstances. If there have been changes to your health, assets, relationships or other alterations, it is recommended that you have your documents checked to safeguard their validity.

At A M Davies, we work closely with every client to guarantee that any wills made or amended are precise, up to date, and legally binding. At this difficult time, knowing you have a legitimate will in place can bring some much-needed reassurance and protection to you and your loved ones.

Visit our website for more information on making a will or contact us directly for assistance.