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Challenging Probate and Caveats
If you believe that somebody may try to apply for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration for a deceased estate, without the applicant being the correct person for that trusted role, or using the correct Will, then you can lodge a Caveat with the Probate Registry for the estate.
What is a Caveat?
A Caveat is an objection registered for six months against any subsequent application for Grant of Representation for a specific estate, and prevents the progress of any application without the Caveat being either removed or resolved. It is important to make sure any Caveat is lodged as soon as practical, as the entering of the objection must occur prior to an application for the Grant of Representation being received by the Probate Registry. A Caveat is an important document, used to prevent propounding of old Wills or vexatious administration applications by inappropriate or ill-intentioned parties, but they should not be used in cases where a party intends to make a claim for provision under the Inheritance Act.
How does a Caveat work?
Once your Caveat has been entered at the Probate Registry, any party making application for the Grant will receive notification of the Caveat and be provided the details of the Caveat lodging party (normally your legal representatives), so that they can engage with you and attempt to resolve the issue. The Probate Registry will not issue a Grant of Representation while a Caveat is in force, and so it will be for the parties to determine if the matter can be agreed or if further Court intervention is required. For more information on what happens in response to a Caveat, see Warnings and Appearances.
How can we help?
It is important to consider the implications before entering a Caveat, as failure to reach agreement between the parties may mean that Court proceedings are required to settle the matter. There are the also the potential for cost implications for the party entering the Caveat if they have unreasonably prevented proper administration of the estate.
Expert legal advice from a solicitor experienced at working with disputed estates can help you take appropriate and decisive steps to protect your interest in an estate and limit the risk of a dispute escalating.