What Is A Caveat On A Will ?
We are frequently contacted by family members concerned about a will, and want extra time to fully investigate the circumstances surrounding a will. In such a case, there is a procedure called a Caveat. This prevents probate from being issued in the probate registry. Once issued the Caveat lasts for a period of some 6 months, and can be renewed at every 6 months.
So when will a Caveat be appropriate ? these represent some examples when a caveat maybe issued :
- You have yet to see the will
- The executor is refusing to disclose a copy of the will
- There are concerns about the role of the executor or administrator
- The person maybe applying for probate is not the right person
- You are concerned the will was invalid due to the testator having a lack of capacity
- You have concerns that the will was made under undue influence
How To Lift a Caveat To A Will
If a Caveat has been entered incorrectly, then to challenge a caveat you issue what is known as a Warning – legal help should be sought as there are various procedures that must be adhered to when issuing the warning on the person who has entered the Caveat. Once the warning is served, the recipient then has 14 days to enter a formal reply to the warning which is called an appearance. This is a formal legal document setting out the grounds for why the will is being disputed.
Once the warning has been served on the person who has entered the Caveat, they then have a period of some 14 days to enter an Appearance.
The Appearance sets out in short detail the grounds for contesting the will and why the caveat ought to remain in place. If no Appearance is filed in 14 days then the Caveat can be lifted however this still requires a specific application to the Court.
If an appearance is filed the Caveat then remains permanent unless the Court removes it or alternatively the parties agree.
If you need help with a Caveat – we can help call us on 0844 740 1637