Call 01279 215580

What Are The Important Variables To Consider With A Caveat?

Posted: Friday, 4 January 2019 @ 13:43

What is the procedure for issuing a caveat?

A caveat can be lodged at any Probate Registry; this does not need to be at the probate registry local to the deceased.

The Probate Registry will need: • The deceased's name, date of death and address; • The name and address of the caveator; • The request for the caveat to be signed by the caveator or their solicitor; •

A fee of £20 The caveat is then valid for six months. It can be renewed at the end of this period on payment of a further fee. How can the caveat be removed?

The caveator can remove the caveat at any time by writing to the Probate Registry. Given this a legal letter may be a good idea informing the individual that it is an abuse of proceedings to issue a Caveat inappropriately (see Parnall v Hurst [2003] WTLR 997.)

Any interested person may therefore issue a “warning” to the caveator. A warning is a notice to the caveator and must be in the prescribed form. A warning can only be entered at the Leeds District Probate Registry.

There is no fee for issuing a warning to a caveat. The person issuing the warning must state the nature of his interest and the date of the Will (if any) in the warning and it must be served on the caveator in accordance with specific rules as to service. The warning must also require the caveator to state the nature of his interest.

Once the warning has been served on the caveator, one of the four things will happen depending on what right the caveator is alleging and what steps he chooses to take:

1. The caveator may withdraw his caveat – this can be done at any time before he enters an appearance to the warning. When a warning has been issued, then the caveator must give notice of his withdrawal to the person issuing the warning. The caveat must be withdrawn at the registry in which it was entered. No fee is payable upon the withdrawal of the caveat.

2. The caveator may enter an “appearance” – an appearance should be entered in the prescribed form at the Leeds District Probate Registry within eight days of service of the warning on the caveator. If the caveator does not enter an appearance then the person issuing the warning may take steps to “warn off” the caveator. Once an appearance has been entered, the caveat remains in force until a District Judge (or, when the parties consent to the discontinuance of the caveat, a registrar) otherwise directs. There is no fee for entering an appearance.

3. The caveator may issue and serve a summons for directions – this must be done within eight days of service of the warning, otherwise the caveator risks being warned off. Please note that a summons for directions may only be issued by a caveator who has no interest contrary to that of the person issuing the warning. After a summons for directions has been issued there will be a hearing before a District Judge at which he will decide to whom a grant should be made.

4. A caveator may do nothing – in this case the person issuing the warning may file an affidavit in the Leeds District Probate registry after the eight-day time-limit for entering an appearance has expired. The affidavit must show that the warning was served on the caveator. The caveat is then said to be “warned off” and is no longer effective so that the person issuing the warning is then free to proceed with his application.

When A Caveat Should Not Be Lodged? 1) A caveat should not be lodged by an outsider who has no interest in the estate. If a complete outsider lodges a caveat he will be unable to enter an appearance as he/she will be unable to state what his/her interest contrary to that person warning. Thus that person could be at risk of a costs order being made by the probate registrar. 2) Where a caveator intends to make an application for provision under under the Inheritance and Family Dependants Act 1975. The potential applicant under the 1975 Act claim will wish to know when the grant has been issued in order to avoid missing the 6 month time limit and can do so by entering a standing search.