What is a caveat probate?
When a person dies, it is the duty of the executor to apply to the Probate Registry for a grant of representation, so that the probate process can begin.
If someone would like to contest the Will however – if perhaps they feel they should have been left something but weren’t or they suspect that the testator was perhaps coerced into writing specific content within their Will; it is in their best interests to halt the progress of probate.
A caveat probate will therefore prevent the Registry from issuing the grant of representation.
To present a caveat probate, the specific form must be given to the Probate Registry by the person wishing to contest the Will. This gives them time to discuss the matter with the executor or take relevant legal advice. Should the executor object to the caveat probate, then the person contesting the document will receive a warning from the Registry and must complete and present another form within 8 days. If nothing is received in this time, the caveat probate is removed.
The caveat probate is valid for a period of 6 months, although an extension of another 6 months can be requested towards the end of this initial period. If no agreement can be reached, both parties will likely be forced to enter into court proceedings.