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Challenging a will? Think Caveat!

View profile for Emma Savage
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Challenging a Will? Think Caveat!

If you intend to challenge the validity of a will, it is important to investigate the circumstances surrounding the execution of the will.  It is helpful in these cases if the Grant of Probate can be put on hold to allow you to investigate matters. The registration of a Caveat will prevent a Grant from being issued.  

Caveat

A Caveat is a written notice lodged with the Probate Registry that prevents the issuing of a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.  This prevents a person from administering the estate and remains in place for 6 months. Upon the expiry of the 6 months, applications for a further 6 months can be made by writing to the Probate Registry.

Warning

A Caveat can be challenged by sending a document known as a Warning to the District Probate Registry.  This Warning is then sent to the person who entered the Caveat. If you intend to apply for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration and discover that a Caveat is in place, you could serve a Warning, which if not responded to within 7 days, will enable you to proceed with your application for a Grant.

Appearance

If you have entered a Caveat and receive a warning but you wish to keep the Caveat in place you must send a document known as an Appearance to the District Probate Registry. This must be done quickly as the Appearance must be entered within 8 days. Once an Appearance had been entered the Caveat will remain in place and can only then be removed by consent or by a Court Order.   

You should seek legal advice and assistance as soon as possible in any of the above scenarios. Our team can assist you with this or any other dispute relating to wills and trusts.