ACCA authorisations for non-contentious probate work expired at the end of 2021 and the transfer of regulation of affected authorised persons was completed on 31 December 2021.

As part of the transfer of regulation, all existing ACCA probate practitioners were required to choose one of the following three Options:

(1)     Authorisation by CRL as a CILEX-ACCA Probate Entity or a CILEx Authorised Entity

(2)     Authorisation by another approved regulator

(3)     Cease carrying out probate activities.

Individuals and firms authorised for probate by ACCA were invited to apply to CRL for probate authorisation via a dedicated CRL online portal:

CILEX Regulation ACCA-Probate Regulation - for practitioners and firms ACCA-Probate Regulation - Guidance for individuals and firms

Further information on the new route for ACCA-Probate Regulation was provided on the CRL website, including eligibility and application guidance and support. The final closing date for online applications was 17 December 2021.

We strongly recommended that ACCA probate practitioners chose the CRL pathway as this would enable them to continue to offer probate as an ancillary activity to their accountancy work under a similar regulatory framework to that previously offered by ACCA. They would also benefit from access to a range of support services, including CPD. In developing the pathway, we sought to minimise any additional requirements and make the transfer process as straightforward as possible.

However, ACCA probate practitioners had the opportunity to make their own decision as to their future regulator. There was no requirement for ACCA probate practitioners to choose CRL and, if they wished to continue to offer probate services, they could apply for probate regulation with other legal service regulators.

ACCA probate practitioners were required to take action and ensure they were appropriately authorised to undertake probate activities when their current authorisation with ACCA ended on 31 December 2021, or cease undertaking probate activities.

Unfortunately, existing ACCA probate practitioners who did not obtain probate authorisation with CRL or another approved regulator by 31 December 2021 will be unable to carry out the reserved legal activity of probate until they have obtained the appropriate authorisation.

Any ACCA member who continues to carry out probate activities, unregulated, after 31 December 2021 will be in breach of ACCA’s Bye-laws, regulations and Code of Ethics and Conduct (or for a non-ACCA member, the regulations of their professional accountancy body) and will be subject to regulatory and disciplinary enforcement action for undertaking activities without holding the necessary authority.