News and Events

Grant of Probate redesign!

View profile for Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

The Ministry of Justice announced that from 4 March 2019 all Grants of Probate issued will be subject to a change in appearance, but what is a Grant of Probate?

What is a Grant of Probate?

A Grant of Probate is a legal document which is sealed by a Probate Registry and confirms the names of the executors (as set out in the deceased’s will) who are entitled to deal with the deceased’s estate.

Most financial institutions require a Grant of Probate to be sent to them before they will release any funds over a certain value, as the Grant of Probate acts as proof of to whom funds should be paid.

Changes to the design of Grants of Probate

The redesign of the Grant of Probate focuses on security issues and counter-fraud measures. The following changes have been made to the appearance of the Grants of Probate:-

  • a digital seal instead of an embossed seal
  • a digital signature instead of a “wet” (physically written on paper) signature
  • a hologram has been added
  • a validation telephone number for people processing the document to call

Following the redesign, any of the old-style grant certificates remain valid. 

At Birkett Long, we are anticipating that a number of financial institutions will query the new layout of the Grant of Probate before releasing funds. 

We will inform the financial institutions about the change of appearance of the Grant of Probate when we request the deceased’s funds are released, aiming to reduce the amount of queries we will receive.

If you would like advice following a recent bereavement on how to obtain a Grant of Probate or administer an estate, then please do not hesitate to contact one of our specialists in the Wills, Trusts and Probate team. I am based in our Colchester office and can be contacted on 01206 217609 or