New Grant Of Probate Design Launched Today

The Ministry of Justice has today launched a new digitised Grant of Probate certificate.

The redesign, which currently has an English version ready only, focuses on security issues and consists of:

  1. A standard digital signature instead of the old style wet signature
  2. A digital seal instead of an embossed one on the old style
  3. A validation phone number for stakeholders to call and validate grant if required
  4. A high security hologram

Following the proposed probate fees being narrowly voted in by the committee with nine votes to eight, as a precursor, the Court Service pushed forward changes to the physical grant of probate. The increased security of the new features on the Grant of Probate has been welcomed by the Law Society but have said it does not justify the new probate fees.

The Labour Party, The Law Society, and numerous charity organisations have strong views about the new fees and jointly disagree with them. The Labour Party are set to force a vote on the probate fees in the House of Commons as a final attempt to stop them going ahead in April as many believe the huge increases are not fees but a tax on death.

It has been claimed that if The Labour Party’s attempt to de-rail the probate fees fails and they are implemented next month, it could open doors to cross-charging in other areas such as passports and driving licenses.

However, the new digitised grant of probate will be welcomed by the public following the successful online probate service pilot for personal applications being very positive.

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As a Wills professional, what is your opinion of the new Grant of probate format?

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