Updates to the process for obtaining a Grant of Probate mean that the old fashioned swearing of an oath is no longer necessary.
The Probate Service is a busy service dealing with some £270,000 applications each year. Of these £110,000 are made personally by executors with the remaining £160,000 being made by solicitors and probate practitioners.
As the Probate Service tries to modernise and meet the needs of a changing world it is updating its procedures, and quite a lot faster than we thought they would! Without consultation the Probate Service has removed the need to swear an oath and replace it with a signed statement.
At the moment an application for a grant of representation is supported by an oath sworn by the personal representatives. The new process involves a written statement of truth whereby the personal representative believes the facts referred to in the statement are true. It is also a requirement for the personal representative to confirm that making a false statement is contempt of court and punishable by a range of sanctions. However the exact wording of the statement of truth has not yet been determined and until such time as it is the oath can still be used.