Caveat Removal Or Disposal On The Cheap

Will claim Solicitors, specialist no win no fee will dispute and will contest Solicitors, consider how it is possible to remove or dispose of Caveats quickly and cheaply

What is a Caveat and how is it used in Will contest or Will dispute Claims

We love talking about Caveats! They are of key importance in relation to claims against the legal validity of Wills. Quite simply they are just a device which temporarily halts the Grant of Probate (the licence from the Probate Registry to the Executors by which they can administer the estate under the terms of the Will, wind up and distribute it). One can see very quickly then that it is essential to have this (the Caveat) in place stopping the Grant of Probate, otherwise the estate can be sold off and distributed and there might not be anything left to pursue or argue over.

Our earlier blog as follows refers:

Let’s Talk About Caveats – Will Claim Solicitors

How is the Caveat entered?

Don’t just take our word about this; refer to the Government website for much more information and more particularly for their forms and information describing what to do:

Stopping a probate application: Challenge someone else’s probate application – GOV.UK (

What can be done to remove the Caveat and administer the estate?

The government website goes on to describe how to respond to a challenge to your probate application – in other words what you can do to deal with the (in effect) claim, contest or dispute over the legal validity of the Will (in relation to which the Caveat is stopping the Grant being issued). Essentially, it is describing the process by which the Caveat is “Warned”:

Stopping a probate application: Respond to a challenge against your probate application – GOV.UK (

We are not on this occasion dealing with the workings of issuing the Warning to the Caveat and if applicable, the entry of a subsequent “Appearance” which makes the Caveat “permanent”. However, as the reader will immediately note, if at all, this process has made the position worse because there is now no need for the Caveat to be renewed every six months; it appears to be able to remain in place indefinitely. Moreover, this is often described to law students as the starting point of the contested probate action in the High Court, which one would wish to avoid if possible.

All this is true to an extent; however, it is still possible to remove the “permanent” Caveat by agreement.

What happens if a permanent Caveat is not removed by agreement? Isn’t it the case that a full-blown contentious probate claim in the High Court costs many thousands of pounds?

This is the crux of the matter. Your cunning opponent has a (now) permanent Caveat and is sitting on his/her hands – essentially attempting to use this to leverage an offer or compromise solution. Moreover, he/she knows that if you issue your CPR 57 claim to prove the legal validity of the Will and force the removal of the Caveat, not only will it cost you thousands but you might not be able to get it back if your opponent gives notice in his/her defence (CPR 57.7(5)) that he/she will not be raising a positive case but insists on the Will being proved in solemn form. Such a notice can provide cost protection although it is not fool-proof.

Essentially, you need a cheaper solution.

An application for a “put up or shut up” Order to remove unwanted Caveats in contested or disputed Will claims

This is the solution – essentially an application for an Order whereby unless the Caveator issues his/her CPR 57 claim within (say) 28 days, the Caveat is struck out. It is sometimes called a “Cobden Ramsay” or “Fitzhugh Gates v Sherman” Order. It avoids the often huge expense of a full High Court claim.

Cobden Ramsay can be found at 2003 WTLR 1303

Fitzhugh Gates at: Fitzhugh Gates (a firm) v Claudia Louise Elaine Borden Sherman [2003] EWCA Civ 886 (01 July 2003) (

If you consider any of these facts and matters are of interest, are likely to apply to you, or you would like to ask us for more information about our no win no fee arrangement, or you simply want us to assess your claim, then please do not hesitate to contact us for a confidential no strings chat and/or visit us at

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