What is a Grant of Probate?
When someone dies, their estate is the term used to describe any assets that remain behind. The Estate consists of all of the deceased’s money, personal belongings, and real estate.
The Executors and Administrators of a Will are required by law to distribute the Estate in accordance with the Will or intestacy rules, and as quickly as possible. To do so, they need a “Grant of Probate” or “Grant of Letters of Administration,” which is a legal document.
When a Will is called into question, it may be necessary for you to prevent the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration from being issued. However, how do you go about doing this?
It is simple to stop the grant from being issued. The issuance of the grant can be stopped for six months by filing a ‘caveat’ with the Probate Registry.
What is a Caveat and what does it do?
A Caveat prevents people who may be Executor(s) or Administrator(s) from receiving a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration and placing the Estate into their own hands.
The Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration is a legal document that allows the Executor/Administrator to show that they have the necessary authority to handle the deceased person’s assets. The administration of an Estate is stopped when a Caveat is in place, which prevents assets from being distributed.
A Caveat should only be used if there is a genuine reason to prevent an Executor/Administrator from getting the Grant. This must be more than just a dislike for the terms of the deceased’s Will.
Reasons for lodging a Caveat
A Caveat should be filed only by someone with adequate cause to doubt the validity of a Will. A caveat should not be filed simply because you have a claim against an Estate.
If you are not sure whether the deceased’s last Will was their final Will if you believe that Will is invalid for any reason, or if you believe that intestacy is being sought and a Will had been made, you should take this into account.
Who can apply for a caveat?
A Caveat may only be obtained by individuals over the age of 18. You can apply yourself, hire a lawyer, or enlist the services of someone who is licensed to handle probate matters. If you have an interest in an Estate and believe that there is a good reason to challenge the validity of a Will or intestacy, you may wish to file for a Caveat.
How to know if you have an interest?
If you believe you were left out of the Will in error or that another Will includes provisions for which you are entitled, you may wish to bring a claim against the Estate. You might also want to file a claim if you feel your inheritance is owing under a Will. The Rules of Intestacy may indicate that you have an interest in an Estate.
How long does a Caveat last?
Once a Caveat is filed, it remains for six months. A Caveat may be renewed after six months have passed. Probate can now be granted once the Caveat has expired.
A Caveat can be allowed to lapse or discontinued by the individual who filed it. If a Warning is required, it is necessary to issue a Call for Action. If the person who submitted the Caveat wants to stop the grant from being issued, they must file an Appearance and then the Court will rule on whether anything should be granted.
How to lodge the caveat…
You may write to the Probate Registry or fill out an online form; you must sign a Form PA8, which is available here.
You’ll need the complete name, date of death, and last address of the deceased person who has died when completing the Caveat application. Providing no probate has already been granted, a Caveat will be filed against the individual’s Estate to prevent probate from being granted.
The cost of a caveat online is £3.00
Find out more about Caveats at Wilson Browne Solicitors and other legal services offered.