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What is a Caveat in Probate?

Contesting a will : What is caveat ?

If you want to Contest a Will, the starting point is to obtain a copy of the Deceased’s Will. Unfortunately, sometimes the Executor of the Will, may refuse to provide a copy, alternatively you may simply be unhappy with the role undertaken by the Executor, then lodging a Caveat may represent the answer.

A Caveat is a legal document issued by the Probate Registry, that prevents a Grant of probate being issued, and has the effect of Stopping Probate.Once issued the caveat will remain in place for a period of some 6 months, until either removed voluntarily by the person entering the caveat or alternatively by an order of the Court. It can be renewed after 6 months.

When is a Caveat typically issued ?

Typically, a Caveat is issued in the following :-

  • when there are concerns relating to the validity of the will
  • there is a dispute between the parties or Executor of the will
  • concerns about the testator when the will was Executed eg. the person may have not have the capacity
  • when there are issues as to fraud
  • when the executor refuses to provide a copy of the will

Issuing a Warning to a Caveat

If you are an Executor or Administrator and believe that a Caveat has been entered unreasonably, we can help. One way of removing the Caveat is to issue what is known as a Warning on the person entering the Caveat ( known as the Caveator ).

Once the warning is served on the Caveator they will then have a period of some 8 days to enter what is known as an Appearance which would need to specify the grounds upon which the Caveat had been entered, and be sealed by the probate registry before being served on the person serving the Warning. Thereafter, the dispute is either resolved through a compromise or formal proceedings maybe required to resolve the dispute.

Help with Caveats on Probate

We have a dedicated team that specialise in Probate Caveats – we act for disappointed beneficiaries who are unhappy with a will as well as Executors. We can help you with :-

  • the entry of a Caveat to stop probate : we can do this urgently if required
  • how to obtain a copy of a will if you are refused
  • how to remove a Caveat through a Warning
  • how to respond to a Warning by the issue of an Appearance

For Help with Caveats, please speak to Tim Murden on 01482 429985, or alternatively e-mail at

National Probate helpline Telephone: 0845 9011 686

National Probate Helpline tel: 01482 638400

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