All estates of any deceased person need to go through all legal channels before the deceased’s assets can be distributed to all beneficiaries.

In England and Wales, this is referred to as the Grant of Representation and will be needed even if the deceased did not leave a Will. Any Will executor will need to apply for a Grant of Probate whilst anybody looking to administer the estate of those without a Will will need to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration which will enable the executor to administer the estate under intestacy rules.

During lockdown, completing the administrative process of applying for probate has changed and executors or probate professionals will need to ensure they are adhering to the new system to avoid the form being returned and the process getting delayed.

At the end of March HM Courts and Tribunals Service introduced an eight week introductory period for a new standard grant of representation application forms. The introductory deadline lapsed on May 18 and all forms will now need to comply with the changes if they are to be processed.

The main change will see older iterations using ‘statements of truth’ obsolete and any forms sent after May 18 which uses this older system, will see their forms returned.

The new forms have been designed to digitize information from the start of the process, reducing the number of errors and creating a more efficient process as the new forms can be bulk scanned.

Three grant of representation forms have been redesigned. Any executor applying for probate will now use the updated PA1P form.

Those who are administering an estate without a Will and applying for a grant of letters of administration should apply for a PA1A form.

Anyone needs to apply for a caveat will need to use the updated PA8A form.

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