If you decide to challenge a validity of a will or someone’s entitlement to administer an estate, you will enter a caveat at the Probate Registry. This will give you time to carry out research and gather the relevant evidence to make your case. The caveat is, however, open to a challenge by the other parties with an interest in the estate, who can issue you with a warning, a court form on which they state their interest.

Once you are served with a warning, you have only eight days to respond by making an affidavit called an appearance. If you fail to respond in time, the caveat will cease to have an effect and a Grant may be sealed.

The appearance, issued at the Probate Registry , must state the caveator’s reasons as to why the caveat was entered and why the will in question is not valid or why the specific person is incapable of dealing with the estate fairly. The appearance must be sealed by the Probate Registry and served on the person who issued the warning.

Following an appearance, the caveat will remain in place and can only be removed if both the caveator and the estate’s representative consent, or the court makes a judgment that the caveat ought to be removed.

Caveators responding to warnings by way of an appearance must take care. An appearance may give rise to liability for legal costs, for example when the appearance or the original caveat was spurious.

To read more on the procedures of entering a caveat or issuing a warning please see our related blogs on Caveats and Warnings.