CAVEAT: STOPPING PROBATE

Incorrectly executed wills

A caveat prevents a grant of probate or grant of letters and administration being issued by the probate registry. It is very useful in so far as it enables the caveator time to make inquiries as to whether there are grounds to contest a will. For example it could be used in the following circumstances :-

  1. (i) when there is a real concern regarding the validity of a will
  2. (ii) an executor refuses to disclose a copy of a will iii) fraud or undue influence in a will maybe suspected
  3. (ii) the entitlement of the person applying to the Court maybe in dispute (for example in the case of someone dying intestate without a will).
  4. (iv) Concerns that assets maybe disposed contrary to the intentions of the will

How is a Caveat issued?

A caveat is issued by making an application to Leeds probate registry. The application has to be supported by various information, together with a Court fee. We operate a fixed fee service and can issue a caveat within a matter of days. Call here to seek immediate legal help.

What happens after a caveat is issued?

Once a caveat has been issued by the Probate registry, this then prevents a grant of probate or grant of letters of administration being issued by the Court. The person applying for the caveat is known as the caveator.

How long does the caveat remain in place?

The Caveat remains in force from six months from the date it is entered. In the month before it is due to expire, an application to extend it for a further period of six months can be made. A further court fee being required.

I have applied to the probate registry and just received notification that a Caveat has been issued, what can I do?

As no notice has to be given when a caveat is issued, it is often very surprising to Executors or Administrators to find that a caveat has been issued against an estate. Given this if you disagree with the Caveat, something called a Warning maybe served on the Caveator. This provides that an appearance to the caveat, must be entered at the Court within 8 days. The appearance sets out in summary the grounds as to why the caveat has been issued. If no appearance is entered, then an application can then be made to the probate registry for the grant of probate to be issued.

If an appearance has been entered, the caveat will remain in force indefinitely, until matters are finally resolved, this could be by either an application being made to the probate registry for a direction hearing or alternatively formal contested probate proceedings being commenced.

On account of these rules cases often arise whereby the testator the person making the will) hasn’t maybe signed the will in the presence of the witnesses, the signature does not appear to be genuine or the witness to the will is in fact a beneficiary.

Call our PROBATE HELPLINE 0844 330 2672 or send an enquiry

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