How to stop a Grant of Probate being awarded
What is a grant of probate?
A Grant of Probate is a grant obtained from the Probate Registry, providing the executors of the deceased’s estate the legal power to administer the will in accordance with the deceased’s wishes.
Once the Grant of Probate has been issued, the will provided is considered the last valid will executed by the deceased. If there is a question mark over it then it may be beneficial to delay or stop Grant of Probate.
Preventing a Grant of Probate being obtained gives time for any potential claimant to provide evidence to back up their claimant to the Will.
Also, if you feel that the deceased’s Will may be invalid, you may need to file a Caveat with the Probate Registry to prevent the executors obtaining a Grant of Probate. A Caveat may be used where there is any of the following types of claims:
- The deceased did not have the capacity to create a Will
- The deceased’s Will has been a target of fraud
- The deceased was influenced into making the Will to benefit a certain party
- The deceased was unaware or not in a state to approve the Will
What does a Caveat do?
Once a Caveat is entered, the Probate Registry cannot issue a Grant of Probate and so the Will can not be executed. A caveat remains in place for 6 months, at which it is reviewed.
A caveat must have some legal grounding, so it is best to get advice before entering a caveat.
Can my Caveat be removed by the executor(s)?
Once the executors become aware of the Caveat and if they do not consider it appropriate, they can enter a ‘Warning’ at the Probate Registry.
What is a Warning?
A Warning is an objection to the Caveat and does not come at a charge.
The ‘Warning’ is served to the person with the Caveat and they will have 14 days to respond to the Caveat . If no appearance is entered within this time, the Caveat will be removed by the Probate Registry, allowing a Grant of Probate to be issued.
What is an Appearance?
If the Caveator wishes to keep the Caveat in place, they must file an appearance at the Probate Registry within 14 days and give reasons for keeping it in place.
Once an appearance is entered, the Caveat becomes permanent and can be only removed by the caveat creator or a court order.
If a Caveat becomes permanent, the parties have the following options:
- Negotiate and agree a settlement;
- Debate the validity of the Will in court
- Commence court proceedings to try and remove the caveat
If you are considering a caveat, you must have a sound basis for applying one. Otherwise you could be liable for the legal fees that ensue should you be unsuccessful.
If you’re based near Middlesbrough or Teeside or in the areas of Stainsby, Normanby, Stainton and Billingham or anywhere in the surrounding area, we can assist with this or any other probate, power of attorney or trust guidance you may require please contact 01642 493101 or email email@example.com. Please click here to learn more about Grant of Probate.