212. Deputy James Lawless asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the waiting times for the granting of probate in the Probate Office; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12127/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Probate Office is an office of the High Court and management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in exercising its functions under the Courts Service Act 1998.
However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has informed me that waiting times for Grant applications in the Dublin Probate Office are currently 3 weeks for applications made by solicitors on behalf of clients and 13 to 14 weeks for personal applications.
As the Deputy will appreciate all applications for Grants in deceased persons' estates are made on foot of a number of mandatory legal documents which must be furnished by the applicants. These require detailed checking by the Dublin Probate Office to ensure that the estate of the deceased person is administered correctly and in accordance with the law. Where a person opts to apply for a Grant personally, without the assistance of a solicitor, the process requires significant extra support from the Dublin Probate Office.
As the Deputy will be aware, the Report of the Probate Services Review Group was approved by the Courts Service Board on 23 April 2018 and made a number of recommendations in relation to improvements to business processes. The Courts Service has advised that there are ongoing improvements to the internal processes in the Dublin Probate Office which will form part of a process of continuous business improvement into the future. These changes, in addition to the allocation of additional resources, have provided significant improvement in waiting times.