uk probate solicitors

Probate Caveat Solicitors - Stop Grant of Representation

HELPLINE 0845 409 2425

A probate caveat is a means of temporarily stopping the issue of a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration from the Probate Registry of the High Court of Justice. Once issued a probate caveat allows an interested party time to investigate and where appropriate to take legal action against another person who may be unlawfully attempting to obtain a grant of representation with a view to wrongful disposing of the assets of the deceased. A probate caveat may be appropriate in several situations including matters relating to the validity of a will, issues of fraud or undue influence, anticipated wrongful asset disposal if granted or the bona fides of the applicant who may have no entitlement to a grant of representation.

Caveat Procedure

A caveat is issued out of the Probate Registry of the High Court of Justice following submission of an application form by a 'caveator' supported by full information and accompanied by the relevant court fee. Once issued, no one can obtain a grant of representation without further order of the court which is on notice to interested parties. The caveat lasts for 6 months but can be renewed upon application with a further court fee being paid.

Contested Probate

Once issued, any person applying for a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration is stopped and a 'warning notice' is sent out to the caveator requiring further action to be taken within 8 days (an 'appearance') failing which the caveat lapses and the issue of a grant of representation can proceed. Once an appearance has been entered the caveat remains in force indefinitely, until the matter is resolved by way of contested probate proceedings. The caveator can release the caveat if matters are settled.

Injunctions

An injunction is an order of the court requiring someone to do something or requiring someone not to do something. If a Grant of Probate has been issued, it is possible to apply to the court for an injunction which will prevent the executor or administrator from taking further action including sale or disposal of assets until such time as any dispute is heard before a Judge in a court of law. An injunction can be issued on an emergency basis on the same day as the application is made without the other side being present or even being notified, as an ex-party injunction which will be valid upon service or notice given to the executor or administrator. In the case of an ex-party injunction, the matter is remitted back to the court in short order to enable both parties to be heard by a Judge who will make a final decision about the issue. Failure to abide by the terms of an injunction is a contempt of court and can result in imprisonment.

HELPLINE 0845 409 2425