HM Courts & Tribunals service has pushed back the final deadline for probate applications on paper following complaints from solicitors about issues with the online system.

The grace period for the use of paper-based probate applications has been extended until 11 January 2021. Online applications officially became mandatory for professionals on 2 November, but some practitioners have struggled with the digital platform.

In a meeting with the Law Society, HMCTS acknowledged that there are still issues with the online system and said the extension should allow them to resolve these, while allowing more time for solicitors to sign up to the new MyHMCTS online system.

According to HMCTS, the number of users that have signed up to the system has doubled since the announcement was made that applications must to be submitted online, and the number of digital applications received has increased. The Ministry of Justice expects the reforms to see around three quarters of professional user applications eventually move online.

Stops continue to be an issue for probate practitioners, and HMCTS is due to publish a blog on how to submit a successful application. Solicitors have also complained technical issues with the system and a lack of coordination between the different probate forms.