Probate and Caveats

If you are a family member or a beneficiary unhappy with a will, how do you stop a probate application ? the answer lies with the issue of what is called a Caveat.

A Caveat is typically used in the following circumstances :-

  • when you believe the will to be invalid, for example did the deceased leave an earlier will ? are there any issues with the Deceased’s capacity ? was the will made under undue influence ?
  • there is an issue with the executor or administrator
  • there maybe a dispute as to who is entitled to apply

Who Can Enter a Caveat ?

Anyone can enter a caveat subject to them being over the age of 18 and having an address in England and Wales.

To enter a caveat you must show an interest eg. believe that you are entitled to share in the estate or that you have a contrary interest in other words have a different interest from the applicant who is applying.

How is a Caveat entered ?

As solicitors we can enter the caveat for you or alternatively, a caveat can be entered online or through the post. It is crucial that the name, date of death, and last address of the deceased are entered correctly.

How to Challenge a Caveat

Unfortunately, issuing a Caveat against a will is very easy. Given this in our experience we find that alot of caveats are issued unreasonably without sufficient reason. If a Caveat has been entered and the reasons unjustified, then to remove the Caveat, a Warning to the Caveat has to be served. This a legal document served on the person entering the Caveat, this provides that the reasons for the entering the Caveat must be replied in a formal document called an Appearance to a Warning with 14 days of the Caveat being served. If no apperance or reply is made then an application to the probate registry can be made to have the Caveat removed.

Need help with entering a Caveat, or Removing a Caveat ?

If you need help with a Caveat and are unsure what to do next we can help, as specialist solicitors we have acted for clients for many years advising on Caveats, Warnings and Appearances. Please call us on 01482 429985 and speak with Tim Murden who heads our will disputes team or email Tim at tim.murden@tmsolicitors.co.uk. We look forward to helpling you.