Articles | Guide to caveat procedure  

Can I block a grant of probate?

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Katharine Riley

Katharine Riley

When is it appropriate to enter a caveat?

If you consider that you have a claim against an estate or a challenge to a Will you may need advice in respect of preventing the issue of a grant of probate while you resolve your concerns.

It may be possible to reach agreement with the executors that they will not obtain a grant of probate or administer an estate while you investigate or progress a challenge to a will or claim against an estate. A professional executor who knows there is a claim against an estate would be likely to be very cautious about proceeding to distribute an estate.

If you consider that a will is not valid the caveat procedure will allow you to prevent anyone obtaining a grant. A caveat is initially in place for six months and can then be renewed. It is, however, an abuse of process to lodge a caveat for any other purpose than there being a concern that the last will is invalid.

If lodged a caveat can be “Warned-Off” by the person seeking to obtain probate, which sets strict time limits running in order to retain the caveat in place. An “Appearance” (a form to fill in, not physical attendance at the probate registry) then has to be lodged to keep the caveat in place. After an Appearance has been lodged the caveat remains in place until there is consent to its removal, or a Court order is made. On an application to court to remove a caveat the question of costs will be considered, in particular where a person has failed to agree to remove a caveat which should not remain in place.

We can advise you in respect of the procedure for issuing a caveat at the Probate Registry while your case is investigated and you receive legal advice and/or have the opportunity to negotiate in respect of a challenge to a will. If you consider that this is relevant to you please contact katharine.riley@fsp-law.com or 0118 951 6245.