When it comes to dealing with a loved one’s estate, it’s not just their Will that you can contest. If you wish to prevent a Grant of Probate from being issued, there are certain measures you must take before doing so. You can lodge a Caveat if you wish to prevent the Will’s executor from obtaining a grant, and you must have reasonable grounds to contest. Want more information on how you can challenge a probate application? Keep reading for more information.
What is probate?
A Grant of Probate is a formal document that permits you to handle a deceased’s estate. Only certain people are entitled to apply for probate, which may include family members, spouses or civil partners. There may also be an inheritance tax payable as well as probate fees.
In most instances, you do not need a Grant of Probate if the deceased individual’s estate is less than £5000. This amount of money can just be transferred out of their bank account.
What is the purpose of a Caveat?
When entering a caveat, you are effectively attempting to stop the executors or administrators from acquiring a Grant of Probate or letters of administration and allocate the estate. When a Caveat is lodged, any assets within an estate cannot be administered.
A Caveat should only be lodged if you have genuine reasonings for not wanting an executor or administrator to obtain a Grant. For example, you cannot use a Caveat if you do not agree with the contents of a deceased Will.
Who is eligible to apply for a caveat?
You can apply for a Caveat if you are 18 or over. You can successfully apply yourself, but you may want to consult a solicitor for peace of mind.
You can also apply for a Caveat if you have a significant interest in the deceased person’s estate, and you believe that you can challenge the validity.
What is your reason for lodging a Caveat?
To lodge a Caveat, you must have significant reasoning for challenging the validity of the deceased Will. You can also apply for a Caveat if the deceased did not leave a Will, and you believe the person intending to apply for letters of administration is not entitled to their estate.
You should also consider a caveat if you do not believe the deceased’s last Will is in fact their last, if you do not believe they were ‘of sound mind’ when they made it, or if you believe it has been tampered with.
If a Will does not include you and you believe that it should, or you were included in another Will, you may want to claim against the estate.
How long does a Caveat last?
You have 6 months from the date of a Caveat being lodged before it expires. After this period, it can be renewed, but once the six months is over probate can be granted.
A Caveat can be removed or allowed to lapse. A warning can be issued if it is necessary to challenge a Caveat. If you lodge a Caveat and wish to prevent the issue of a Grant, you will need to file an Appearance, where the court will then determine the issue.
How you can lodge a Caveat
You can either apply through the Government’s website, or you can write to the Probate registry. To be successful, you must sign a PA8 form, which can be found here. A Caveat will cost you £20.
When filling out this form to obtain a Caveat, you will need to declare the full name, date of death, and last known address of the deceased person. If Probate hasn’t already been granted, a caveat will be lodged against the deceased person’s estate, preventing the Grant of Probate.
We hope that this article has made the process of obtaining a Caveat a lot clearer. If you are considering lodging a Caveat and would like some legal advice, get in touch today. Our experienced team will assist you throughout the process.
Van Eaton Solicitors, Streatham, London