Probate: What is a caveat?
Wills are often challenged by relatives who don’t believe that either adequate financial provision has been made for them (where they depend financially on the deceased) or as a result of a concern with how the Will was made by their loved one.
Some of the common areas for challenging a Will are the Will is invalid because it has not been drawn up and executed properly, the testator lacked mental capacity (they need to understand what they are doing and the extent of their property), undue influence by a third party or the Will is a fraud.
A relative concerned about the Will can temporarily prevent a Grant of Probate by registering a caveat at the Probate Registry.
What is a caveat?
A caveat prevents a Grant of Probate being issued by the Probate Registry. It allows the ‘caveator’ (the person preventing the grant) time to make enquires as to whether there are grounds to contest a Will, for example to obtain legal advice or perhaps medical evidence about the capacity of the testator at the time they made their Will.
A caveat creates ‘breathing space’ - time to check if there are any grounds to oppose an application for a grant.
The caveat can be warned off by the Executors and if it isn’t removed, can lead to litigation.