New Style Grants

Are other practitioners finding any issues with the new style grants? In particular I have found:-

  1. there is a delay in issuing grants (I mainly use Newcastle DPR)
  2. there are errors in all the new style grants I have received to date
  3. the format of the grants means the information in it is not presented as clearly as in the old style - for example the PR’s name and the deceased’s name both appear twice.

Sarah Arundel
Taylor Fawcett

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You’re lucky, I am waiting for five grants from Brighton that have been in for at least four weeks and have yet to see anything, and they are not answering their phones!

Simon J. Shaffer
MOERANS Solicitors

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Further to my post above the email address probatefeedback@Justice.gov.uk can be used if you would like to feedback about the new style grants.

Sarah Arundel
Taylor Fawcett

Likewise - would love to see one - numerous applications submitted Liverpool since 18th March - not a dickey bird save for requisition as to why the Will was NOT stapled!

John Cartlidge
Campion Solicitors

I have received a new style grant of probate with no will annexed. Is this a mistake or is it the new standard practice not to annex wills?

Orlando Bridgeman
Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors

As no Will is annexed to the new style grant. I assume that means we no longer have to send 2 unbound copies. We haven’t been told this is the case.

Chris Shaw
Graysons Solicitors

I have just spoken to a lady at Newcastle DPR to be told that a new computer system has been installed at all probate registries but has failed and she could not say what if any correspondence had been received or the progress of any applications and they could not issue any grants either until the computer system is put right and she suggested waiting a further week to ten days to contact them again and she said they were amassing a huge backlog. I had to check it wasn’t April 1st. She seemed to be under the impression that I should have heard of this incident but I haven’t - has anyone else? Also just phoned HMRC about an IHT 421 only to be told they have a huge backlog and not to phone until 3 weeks have elapsed - another week to go for me.

Claire Flood
CLAIRE FLOOD SOLICITORS

We have just received a grant back from Newcastle DPR several weeks after the application was made and issuing a formal complaint as we had been told that the grant was issued, only to be told subsequently that it was still with the registrar. The DPR were almost impossible to get hold off, and not very helpful - in fairness they are normally very good so I suspect there are a number of issues.

Unfortunately, a grant of probate was issued… but we applied for letters of administration… now we have to apply for a reissue and weeks more delay for an extremely unhappy client. (Tearing my hair out!)

Haroon Rashid
I Will Solicitors Ltd

Yes there is definitely a long delay probably due to a new computer system. However my registry did have enough time to query a statement of truth which I had sent and which had been produced by our computer system with the names of the executors in front of their signatures rather than underneath and asked me to confirm that the signatures were those of the executors. I duly responded by email to confirm this and to confirm that two other applications that had gone out to them the following day were signed by the executors.

Our computer system has now corrected this for future applications but I honestly do not see why there was a need for the probate registry to query the matter. These applications went off around the 13th of March and I am still waiting for issue of the grants. Another explanation for the delay both at probate registries and HMRC is that it might be that some key staff have been seconded to Brexit Duties as it may be easier to train a civil servant to carry out new duties than someone who has never worked in the system.

Patrick Moroney

Received our first of the new style grants Friday, (application submitted 15th March), (no errors to report), together with an illustrated guide to the difference between new & old. Apart from appearance and presence of ‘high security hologram’ not much to report other than absence of attached sealed copy of the Will. The grant explains “an official copy of which may be obtained from the Court”.

Also received email from our DPR explaining as follows:

“We have recently moved to a new system and are working our way through a backlog of applications. In the meantime, we would ask you not to commit to a completion deadline when putting properties on the market to sale as we may not be able to accommodate these until the backlog has cleared.

We are currently working on cases which required no follow up (eg IHT421 or resolution to a query) which were received on 18th March and cases where a follow up or resolution was required and received on 21 March.

All cases are being processed in date order. Please note all registries are working to the same time scales.

Please only contact us if the matter is extremely urgent eg. you have court proceedings or a house sale where the date for completion has been fixed and is within the next week. A copy of the Court listing and evidence of the completion of contract date will be required).

We are unable to expedite an application for any other reason.

Please be assured we are doing all we can to process these cases as quickly as possible.”

John Cartlidge
Campion Solicitors

I have just received my first two new style grants. One is a LOA and was incorrectly labelled as a Grant of Probate (which the Prob Reg had hand amended). I also ordered 10 copies and I have only been sent one copy…

The other one is a Grant of Probate and there is no copy of the Will attached. I find this baffling as, if future applications need to be made and that previous Grant and Will referred to (in the case of claiming an unused NRB in a marriage) I presume we will have to then apply for a copy of the Will and pay a fee for this? Seems incredibly unfair, given the fee has not gone down, but the documentation being provided has reduced. Indeed, if the proposed fee increases go up, it seems we will be getting even less for the money than we are currently.

Gemma Van Duke
Bishopsgate Law

I sent an email to the Winchester DPR last week, to whom one of my Probate applications had been forwarded by my usual DPR. I had replied to a query on 7 March and my recent email, some seven weeks
later, asked when I can expect to receive the Grant.

I received a reply today telling me the welcome news that the Grant had been issued yesterday. However, the email also said:-

“Please allow 7 working days for the grant to arrive.

Please note this will be sent from a bulk issue centre not the probate registry.”

It is worrying to know that Grants are now been issued by a central centre and perhaps not being inspected by a suitably qualified person before being sent. I also wonder whether the new “bulk issue centre” will use the DX, which is far
quicker than second class post, but no doubt I will know this when the Grant arrives.

Cliona O’Tuama

Solicitor

When I contacted the Probate Registry with feedback on the new Grants I received an email from one of the ‘Product Owners’ for the Probate Reform Project who stated (in response my query relating to delay between the issue date of a Grant and receipt of a Grant and whether they were being sent second class post rather than in the DX)

‘The grants are posted 1st Class from our bulk printing company so not sure why you expect they are going 2nd class’

Sarah Arundel
Taylor Fawcett

Another observation of the new style grants is the nature of the stated figures. I’ve received two ‘new’ grants submitted on 205’s and instead of say, …gross not exceed £325,000 …net not exceed £173,000, the actual figures from the 205 box D and box F are stated e.g gross £176,667…net £172,215

I have a concern about the implications of this in cases where hitherto unknown assets come to light but insufficient to trigger an IHT Account.

No mention of this on the ’Guide to the changes’

John Cartlidge
Campion Solicitors

I have received my first new style grant this morning. I must confess it is a little confusing. I paid for 2 copies and seem to have 3 copies. I presume one is the original but they all look identical to me. How do I tell which is the original or does it not work like that now?

Nick Sewell
Bevirs Law

I have now received the long-awaited Grant referred to in my post earlier this week. I was most disappointed to see that it contained two major errors.

Cliona O’Tuama
Solicitor

I assume that, as the Will is no longer attached to a Grant of Probate and the Grant is issued on plain white paper, the “original” and the office copies all look the same now, as indeed would the
Grants in an intestate estate and any copies.

Cliona O’Tuama
Solicitor

I have received my first new style grant today and much like the posts before, this doesn’t have a sealed copy of the Will. I have tried to call Newcastle DPR, but the line is continually engaged. Does anyone have confirmation from the registry that this is indeed how it should be? Seems a little strange that we no longer have an ‘original’ grant!

Shamima Begum
NSS Legal Ltd

It has been well publicised by the Probate Registries that the new grants do not come with a copy will attached.

Lee Young
Frettens LLP

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I have not seen any confirmation but as the new style grant says in relation to the will “An official copy of which is available from the Court” rather than “a copy of which is annexed” I assume this is correct

Nigel Scase
Greene & Greene