Accessibility statement for the ‘Apply for probate’ service

This service allows users to apply for a grant of representation (also known as probate) online.

This website is run by HM Courts and Tribunals. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website, so we have designed it to be accessible. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
  • navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)

We’ve also made the website text as simple as possible to understand.

AbilityNet (opens in a new window) has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

How accessible is this website?

The website has been tested by the Digital Accessibility Centre (DAC) and it meets the required level of accessibility. Since the website was last tested by the DAC in May 2018, we’ve upgraded to the latest version of the GOV.UK Design System which further improves overall accessibility of the site. In addition we’ve carried out internal testing to ensure that we’re in-line with or close to the latest accessibility standards.

Following our internal test, the following areas were recommended for further DAC testing:

  • Navigating using character shortcuts - While we’ve tested with free screen readers for Mac and Chrome, different screen reader services will have different shortcuts and we haven’t been able to conclusively verify all of them.
  • Text spacing - We haven’t been able to verify that the service works for all users requiring larger text spacing.
  • Content on hover or focus - We haven’t been able to test that this works with users that have motor skill issues.
  • Focus visible - Some users may struggle to notice the focus indicator.

What to do if you cannot access parts of this website

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read or braille then email HMCTSforms@justice.gov.uk or phone:

Probate helpline:
Telephone: 0300 303 0648
Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 8:00pm. Saturday, 8:00am to 2:00pm.

Find out about call charges (opens in a new window)

We’ll consider your request and get back to you within 10 working days.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems that are not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, phone:

Probate helpline:
Telephone: 0300 303 0648
Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 8:00pm. Saturday, 8:00am to 2:00pm.

Find out about call charges (opens in a new window)

We’ll consider your request and get back to you within 10 working days.

Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’). If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS) (opens in a new window).

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

We provide a text relay service for people who are deaf, hearing impaired or have a speech impediment.

Our registries have audio induction loops. When you submit your appeal you will be able to request a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter or foreign language interpreter.

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

HMCTS is committed to making its websites accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

The website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard (opens in a new window) due to the non-compliances listed below.

Non-accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons. We haven’t been able to verify that we are fully compliant in the following areas, due to constraints with our internal testing tools:

  • Navigating using character shortcuts - While we tested with MAC VoiceOver and ChromeVox, different screen reader services will have different shortcuts and we haven’t been able to conclusively verify all of them. This may not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.1.4.
  • Text spacing - We cannot confirm that the service works for those requiring larger text spacing. This may not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.12.
  • Content on hover or focus - We have not been able to verify with users that have motor skill issues. This may not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.13.
  • Focus visible - Some users may struggle to notice the focus indicator. This may not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.7.

Digital Accessibility Centre (DAC) testing will take place in October 2019 and we commit to fixing any issues raised by October 2020.

Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

PDFs and other documents

PDFs, documents and attachments to email notifications published before 23 September 2018 may not meet accessibility standards. For example, they may not be structured so they’re accessible to a screen reader.

Third party content that’s under someone else’s control

Pages and websites that are linked to and from the probate service may not be fully accessible. These include:

How we tested this website

This ‘Apply for probate’ website was last tested by the Digital Accessibility Centre (DAC) in May 2018.

The following is the Executive summary of the DAC Report from May 2018.

“During the process of testing, a small number of high priority issues were identified in relation to form fields, focus issues and in-page error links. Some form fields were found to be unlabelled, while some links were ambiguous when browsing out of context. The focus issue affected both screen readers and keyboard-only users, as focus jumped to the top of the page once a button had been initiated; this did not affect any other user groups. Overall, our analysts felt that they could navigate through the service independently in the testing environment”.

Many of the issues mentioned in the DAC report have now been resolved.

We continually run automated accessibility testing as part of our development practices and resolve issues before websites and new functionality is released. We use Pa11y and Axe with our quality assurance processes.

We carried out internal testing in April 2019 against the WCAG 2.1 standard.

All the issues raised during testing were subsequently fixed.

Further testing with the digital accessibility team is planned for October 2019 and we commit to being fully compliant with WCAG 2.1 AA standard by October 2020.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

This website is continually tested using accessibility software. Any new features which are introduced will also be tested internally or with the Digital Accessibility Centre (DAC).

We will be fixing any issues raised in our scheduled DAC test by October 2020.

This statement was prepared on 23 September 2019. It was last updated on 24 September 2019.