Following the launch of an online probate service at the start of the year, criticism has been cast upon the government for also digitising the vital job of determining the validity of a Will.

The digital scanning firm, Exela, reviews all online probate applications but many believe the tool devalues the difficult job of ensuring the Will in question is valid.

Previously, the reviewing process was carried out by experts within HM Courts and Tribunals.

Furthermore, some have speculated that digital scanning systems fail to identify invalid Wills that could lead to the incorrect issue of a Grant of Probate.

The Public and Commercial Services Union have also claimed that since the launch of this new digital system, error rates have increased by 74% and probate applications are already being delayed.

Ruth Pyatt, director of Solicitors for the Elderly, said:

“Validating a will is not only a fundamental part of checking whether the document, on the face of it, meets legal requirements, but is also necessary to check the signs for any possible alterations since the will was executed, or any other discrepancies in the submission.”

In defence of the system, a spokesperson from the HM Courts and Tribunals Service said:

“Our new online service is making probate simpler and more convenient for bereaved people and 93% of those using the new service have been satisfied or very satisfied by it.

“The validity of the will is still checked by HM Courts and Tribunals Service and the added counter fraud measures include holograms, digital seals, and digital signatures to make cheating the system even harder.”

At Get Probate, we can help you to get a Grant of Probate, and you can be assured that we will check all the necessary documents to ensure they are valid – so that delays are avoided.

Our authorised and regulated probate practitioners can help you get a Grant of Probate or with the entire Probate process.

To find out more, get in touch on 0161 907 4044 or email