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A caveat can be withdrawn by the person who has entered it by writing to the Probate Registry.