If a caveat has been lodged against an estate this will be discovered when someone (normally the executor) attempts to apply for a grant of representation. They can challenge a caveat by issuing a “warning” to the Probate Registry. You enter a warning by submitting Form 4 to Leeds District Probate Registry. There is no fee for lodging a warning.

The warning will ask the caveator (the person who entered the caveat) to enter an appearance within fourteen days, providing details of their interest in the estate of the deceased. If the caveator fails to respond within this time the caveat will be removed by the Probate Registry, thus also removing the bar on a grant being obtained.

To ensure that the caveat remains in place, therefore, the caveator must submit an appearance. They can do so by submitting Form 5 to Leeds District Probate Registry. There is no fee for entering an appearance. If the caveator enters an appearance, they will be expected to provide legitimate grounds for their concerns regarding the suitability of the executor and/or for challenging the validity of the will. If the caveator submits an appearance, their caveat will remain in place until either the matter is resolved by court proceedings (and removed by a court order) or both parties consent to its removal.

It is advisable to seek legal advice as early as possible in the dispute and that you try to reach a settlement with the opposing party to avoid expensive court proceedings and escalating legal fees.

The relevant forms for applying for a warning and an appearance can be found here.