Big push to clear £300m charity legacies backlog


Charities are set to receive hundreds of millions of pounds in legacy gifts after the government announced plans to clear the backlog of probate cases.

The probate system was hit by long delays during Covid-19, as a result of higher death rates and the challenges of processing estates during the pandemic.

Experts estimate that legacies worth the equivalent of £300m could still be “stuck” in the probate system.

His Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service confirmed that it was hiring more staff and rolling out new training to try to address the issue.

A spokesperson for HMCTS said: “We are aiming to hire 100 additional staff members over the next few months so we can continue to drive down the backlog in probate cases.”

It is understood that these staff will be recruited by March 2023 and that existing employees will receive additional training for dealing with applications more quickly.

Data earlier this year showed that legacy income had increased by 12.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2022 compared with the years directly affected by the pandemic.

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