Entering a caveat

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Entering a caveat: beware, a simple typo can make it ineffective


What is a caveat?

Entering a caveat will prevent a grant of probate from being issued in an estate of a person who has passed away. A caveat can be issued without notice being given to the executors of the estate or the beneficiaries.

Caveats are frequently used where there is a dispute concerning the validity of a Will. They are also used where a dispute between executors has arisen, where there are concerns that an estate will be incorrectly distributed or where misappropriation of funds is being investigated.

A caveat will only have effect if it is entered before Probate has been granted, so it’s important not to delay.

Entering a caveat is not appropriate where a claim is being made under the Inheritance Act. Instead, the claimant should enter a standing search so that they are informed when a grant is issued. Financial penalties can be imposed if a caveat is entered inappropriately, so please take specialist legal advice if you are in any doubt.

Once the caveat has been entered it will remain in force for six months, but can be extended. If you are entering a caveat yourself we recommend you make a diary entry as the Probate Registry will not send you a reminder to renew it.

A caveat can be withdrawn by the person who has entered it by writing to the Probate Registry.

An interested party may challenge a caveat by issuing a warning. If this happens you have the option of making the caveat permanent by entering an appearance.

Entering a caveat

A caveat is entered through the Probate Registry. A court fee is payable, which is currently (August 2020) £20. When entering a caveat it is crucial that the deceased’s details are correctly stated. Any errors, even simple typos, could render the caveat ineffective.

You can either ask us to enter the caveat for you or you can enter it yourself.

If you want to enter the caveat you must be over eighteen years of age, have a UK postal address and have an ‘interest’ in the estate. You will need to complete form PA8A or apply in person at a Probate Registry.

If you would like us to enter the caveat for you then we will be happy to agree a fixed fee for this service. By taking specialist legal advice you will avoid the risk of being penalised for entering a caveat inappropriately. We can also ensure that there are no discrepancies that could render the caveat ineffective. In addition we can offer guidance on the underlying dispute that has given rise to the need for a caveat to be entered.

Contacting us about entering a caveat

You can call us for a free initial chat on 0808 139 1606 or alternatively you can send brief details to us by email at [email protected]