If you are an Executor or Administrator it can be frustrating to fine out that someone has issued a caveat against the estate preventing probate. This article explains everything you need to know.

What is a caveat ?

There is alot of confusion about Caveats. All a caveat does is prevent probate from being issued, nothing else. Unless someone actually tells you a caveat has been issued there is no way of actually knowing a caveat has been issued, the probate registry don’t send you notice.

Issuing a caveat is very easy. There is no need to state a reason when issuing a caveat, all that is required is simply a letter to the probate registry. As a result of this, we find that in many cases Caveats are issued against estates incorrectly, sometimes out of spite or family problems totally unconnected with a persons will. So when should a caveat be issued ? justifiable reasons would include :-

  • an executor acting unreasonably
  • issues arising regarding the will eg. its execution
  • issues arsing regarding the capacity of the deceased
  • you have been refused sight of the will

Lifting a Caveat

The starting point is to fine out exactly who has issued the caveat, and seek an explanation as to why the caveat has been issued.If there is a genuine dispute relating to the will and those enqueries are ongoing the caveat may well have been issued correctly. If not the next step, would be to advise the person who has entered the caveat that unless the caveat is removed, a legal document known as a Warning to the caveat  will be issued. Issuing a warning involves a court sealed legal document been served on the person who has entered the caveat advising that unless reasons are entered for the Caveat, in the form of what is called an Appearance in 8 days, the caveat will then removed.

If you need help, with lifting a caveat we can help serve and draft the warning for you. Please contact Tim Murden on 01482 429985, or tim.murden@tmsolicitors.co.uk