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Probate caveats account for over 5000 grants a year not being issued


In 2016, there were a total of 260,308 grants of representation lodged in total by Solicitors and personal applicants, however, the number of grants actually issued was only 254,751.

This means that 5557 grants were not issued, a reason for which may be because of probate caveats. 

A probate caveat prevents the grant of representation being issued, lasts for six months and can be extended for a number of further six month periods. It is used where there is a dispute over a will, for example, if there is suspected undue influence or concern as to the will’s validity, i.e. the testator did not have the requisite capacity to make a will at the time that he did. In these circumstances, a caveat provides the caveator (the applicant) a significant period of time in which they can make enquiries as to whether there is a legitimate reason to dispute the will. These enquiries could include obtaining medical records from the deceased’s hospital or GP and obtaining a statement from the solicitors who drafted the will (known as a Larke v Nugus request).

A probate caveat is issued without notice and the only way of disputing it is by lodging a Warning with the District Registry which represents that they do not agree with the caveat. A Warning requires the caveator to make an appearance within eight days, detailing the reason why the caveat is in place and what interest they have in the estate. If the appearance is not made, a further application for probate may be made, however, if it is entered, the caveat continues to remain in place until it is removed.

Our contentious private client team have extensive experience in dealing with will validity disputes.

If you would like to find out more, please contact Lynsey Harrison at lynsey.harrison@clarionsolicitors.com or call 0113 336 3388


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