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Letter: Your Say - New probate problems.

Byline: STAN COATES

OVER the past 12 years or so I have obtained grants of probate for seven of my deceased relatives. Until this year, this has been a mainly straightforward process, but things have now changed for the worse.

As on previous occasions, I went to the Law Courts in Middlesbrough to hand in the completed forms and enclosures including, of course, the original will. Because of the importance of the documents, I wanted to obtain a receipt and get a date for an appointment.

Imagine my surprise when I was told by the receptionist that the probate office in Middlesbrough is now open only one day a week (Wednesday) and they wouldn't accept my documents. I would have to put them in the letterbox outside.

Requesting a date for interview, I was told I would have to ring the Law Courts in Newcastle.

I was standing in the Law Courts in Middlesbrough being told I had to go home and ring Newcastle for an appointment to come back to the same building in which I was trying to obtain the grant of probate. How nutty is that?

The sad loss of a relative is traumatic enough without this kind of hassle.

As many readers who have had to deal with these matters will know, you need a grant of probate in order to gain access to the deceased's bank and building society accounts. So speed is of the essence, as bills need to be paid.

It doesn't take a genius to work out that if the probate office is only open one day a week, your chances of getting an early appointment are remote.

STAN COATES, Guisborough
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jan 27, 2009
Words:279
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