Upcoming improvements to the Online Probate Notice
Since the Online Probate Notice was launched on 21 January 2013, the Court has been actively analysing client feedback regarding the online publication process.
In response to this feedback, a number of improvements to the Online Probate Notice form will be made in the coming weeks.
These improvements are being made in response to feedback from multiple clients on the following broad topics:
- confusion regarding the role "the applicant" plays within the Notice
- confusion about the role an "authorised officer" plays within the Notice
- enable clients to accurately identify their relationship to the deceased when publishing a Notice of Intention to Apply for Administration
- re-locate the "Qualification" section to a more logical position within the form
- provide clients with meaningful guidance regarding the type of notations that might commonly be regarded as a "Qualification", and where these notations will appear in the published Notice.
Precise details of the upcoming changes appear below, along with indicative screenprints of how the online form will look once the changes are implemented during the next fortnight.
Improvement 1: Re-phrasing of the question "Are the applicants executors under the will?"
Extensive consultation with clients has revealed that the question "Are the applicants executors under the will?" is a frequent source of confusion and misinterpretation.
In an effort to eliminate this confusion, this question has been re-phrased to better reflect client expectations and ensure that the Type of Notice eventually published is consistent with those expectations.
In the coming weeks, the question "Are the applicants executors under the will?" will be replaced by the question "Does at least one of the executors under the will intend to apply for probate?".
If you answer "yes" to this question, a Notice of Intention to Apply for Probate will be generated and published; if you answer "no", a Notice of Intention to Apply for Administration (with will annexed) will be generated and published.
Improvement 2: Updates to the options that appear in the dropdown menu that asks the client to identify the capacity in which he or she is publishing the Notice
Currently, in response to the question "I am....", clients are asked to select from the following three values:
I am ..........The applicant or one of the applicants
I am ..........Legal representative for the applicant
I am ..........Authorised officer for the applicant
Extensive consultation with clients has revealed that the existing options are potentially misleading and confusing.
In the coming weeks, the available options will allow clients to respond to the question "I am...." in one of the following three ways:
I am........."A legal representative"
I am........."Representing myself"
I am........."Authorised to act on behalf of a Trustee Company"
Improvement 3: Measures to alleviate client confusion about whose details should be entered into the "Applicant details" section
Several changes have been made to the Applicant details screen to help clients insert the appropriate details into this section of the online form.
Firstly, the heading of the page has been altered from "Applicant details" to "Executor/Administrator details". Secondly, explantory text that was previously only visible when a client clicked on the "Help ?" icon is now permanently visible. This explanatory text provides clients with specific additional direction about the person whose details should be captured in this section.
Improvement 4: Additional option in the "Relationship to the deceased" dropdown menu
Currently, clients who are trustee companies are unable to make a meaningful selection from the dropdown menu when publishing a Notice of Intention to Apply for Administration. The lack of any appropriate option was preventing clients from publishing an accurate Notice.
In response to feedback, in the coming weeks an additional option will appear in the dropdown list that enables clients to indicate they had no familial relationship with the deceased. When this "No relationship" option is selected, the wording of the Notice will also be amended so that the words "....(of the deceased)" do not appear out of context.
Improvement 5: Re-location of the Qualification section and addition of explanatory help
In the coming weeks, the Qualification section will be re-located from the Contact details section to the end of the Deceased details section of the form.
In addition, new, permanently visible text has been added to the Qualification section of the form that confirms how any text typed into this section will be incorporated into the online notice. Also, a new "Help ?" icon has been added to this section that provides clients with sample scenarios that might prompt them to enter qualifying remarks into their notice.