PROBATE CAVEAT - INJUNCTIONS - UK CONTESTED WILLS
A probate caveat is a written notice to the Probate Registry. The purpose of a probate caveat is to ensure that a grant of probate is not issued to a third party without the individual who filed the probate caveat receiving a warning. The individual intended to benefit from the probate caveat is referred to as the "caveator." The caveator has only 8 days from the time of receiving notice that a third party intends to seek a grant of probate in which to take legal action. Filing the application has the effect of giving the caveator more time to find information to support their opposition to the grant of probate.
Individuals involved in cases of contentious probate should be aware of the requirements that must be met in filing a probate caveat. One such requirement is that, in order to be effective, the probate caveat must be filed before the day that the grant of probate application is received. Should the caveat be granted, it will last for 6 months. After that time it must be renewed. Also, it is critical that the exact name of the decedent be used on the application for the caveat.
Lodging a probate caveat in cases of disputed wills is not always the appropriate course of action. Another, sometimes more appropriate approach is to begin legal proceedings against the estate after the grant of probate has been issued. Issuing an injunction against the executors of the estate can be necessary under certain circumstances. Injunctions are what is known as an equitable remedy. It is an order from the court that the person who is subject to the injunction take or refrain from taking certain actions.
In wills and probate cases, such forbidden actions may include distributing any property of the estate. Breaching an injunction is a serious offence. Doing so can subject an individual to civil liability as well as criminal charges, including contempt of court, which can lead to imprisonment.
The service offered by our firm is a highly specialised one. Our wills and probate solicitors deal exclusively in this area of the law, and each one of them has extensive courtroom experience as well.
Please contact us today for free advice about your case. Just telephone us on our helpline or fill out the simple contact form. You will be contacted by one of our friendly and helpful solicitors. There is no charge for this initial consultation, and you are under no further obligations whatsoever.
FINDING THE RIGHT LAWYER FOR CONTENTIOUS PROBATE LITIGATION
In the United Kingdom, the trend is for solicitors to fall into one of two categories. Either the solicitor does court work or he doesn't. It is rare to come across a solicitor who has experience with the out-of-court work of disputed wills as well as the in-court work of contentious probate. This dichotomy can make it difficult to find a qualified solicitor. At a time when you are dealing with conflict, and often family strife, searching high and low for a solicitor who can handle both contested will and contentious probate is an unnecessary burden.
Most of the time a solicitor has no need to resort to civil courts when working on wills and probate cases. As a result, the majority of attorneys who specialise in this area have little or no litigation experience. Firms tend to deal with this situation by handing the case off to a solicitor who works in their litigation department.
This approach, however, can be quite problematic. Litigators are unlikely to have any particular knowledge of or experience with probate and wills. A firm's litigation department deals primarily with issues such as traffic accidents and business disputes. The client, unfortunately, is forced to make a trade-off. Experience with the relevant areas of law must be sacrificed for experience in the courtroom. Clients must make this sacrifice all too often because of the difficulty of finding a wills and probate solicitor who also has the necessary skills to take a dispute to court.
It is surprising that these two skill sets tend to be mutually exclusive. Litigation relating to probate is not uncommon, and to hire an attorney based solely on their courtroom experience would be to take a considerable risk. That is where our select panel of wills and probate solicitors comes in.