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What Is a Probate Caveat?

What Is a Probate Caveat?

a small personal standing in a probate paper, estate planning will attorney

A probate caveat is a formal notice questioning the authenticity of the will and requesting the court to halt the probate process until the issue is resolved. The purpose of this notice is to keep the proposed administrators or executors from obtaining permission to administer the deceased person’s estate assets until the dispute raised by the person who filed the caveat is resolved.

Who Is a Caveator?

A caveator is a person who lodges the probate caveat. The caveator presents his or her evidence to the probate court. If the judge determines that the issue raised is legitimate, the probate will be suspended. The executor can file a petition requesting removal of the caveat or the authenticity of the will can be contested in court.

The procedures of probate litigation involve the use of specific laws. It is crucial for an executor or a beneficiary to work with a probate lawyer in his or her probate caveat petition or in justifying the authenticity of a will.

Who Is Eligible to Lodge a Caveat?

Only a particular class of people can file a caveat. The capability to lodge a caveat is usually limited to only individuals with an interest in the deceased person’s estate. They include legal heirs, a beneficiary or executor under a previous will, and creditors. Below are some of the situations in which a probate caveat can be lodged.

  • The caveator suspects the will is fake and not authorized by the deceased person.
  • The caveator is convinced the diseased person lacked testamentary capacity and so the will is not legitimate.
  • The caveator believes the deceased person was coerced to draw up the will.
  • The caveator is in a disagreement concerning the addition of an heir.

Time Limitations

A probate caveat must be lodged before the court grants probate or letters of administration. The ideal time for lodging the caveat will be decided by the advert that proposed executors or administrators place. The advert will specify the deadline for filing a caveat.

If a probate caveat is not lodged before the executor obtains the court’s permission to administer the estate, it will be difficult to dispute the validity of the will document at a later date. A probate lawyer can guide a person planning to file a probate caveat on the best time to do so and the procedures to follow.

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