People applying for probate in England and Wales can now swear a statement of truth online, following reforms rolled out by HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS).

Previous to this, an oath had to be sworn in person at a solicitor's office or probate registry.

It is already possible for individuals to apply for probate online and pay probate fees of £215 on estates worth more than £5,000.

The new service has been trialled by invitation, with 93% of those who used it saying they were satisfied or very satisfied with the service.

Susan Acland-Hood, chief executive at HMCTS, said:

"Making probate simpler and more convenient, and removing the need to attend a probate registry and swear an oath in person, helps bereaved people at a very challenging time.

"I am delighted we are now able to offer this new, simpler way of doing probate to the public at large. It is part of the work we're doing to make the justice system easier to navigate for everyone."

Once a probate application has been made, it can take six to nine months to value the estate, and longer to complete the rest of the process.

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