What Are Caveats And How Do You Get Rid Of Them

Will claim Solicitors, specialist no win no fee will dispute and will contest Solicitors, discuss Caveats and how to get rid of them

What are Caveats?

This is the scenario. You are contesting the legal validity of a Will which can be a long drawn out process involving obtaining a copy of the disputed Will, the Solicitors Will file and probably the deceased’s medical records. As you can imagine given the players involved, this could be and is often a difficult undertaking; for instance the Solicitors might simply refuse to cooperate and we all know that the NHS is pretty overwhelmed at the moment so persuading them to release medical records quickly might not be possible.

Against this backdrop there is the possibility that whilst you are getting hold of the papers and information required to prove the deceased’s Will is not legally valid/to contest it, the Executors under the disputed Will simply go ahead and administer the deceased’s estate, sell everything and distribute it.

This of course might render the whole challenge to the legal validity of the deceased’s Will somewhat pointless. Well to stop this happening, there is a very simple and cheap way of preventing the administration whilst you are getting your claim against the legal validity of the deceased’s last Will ready. It is called entering a “Caveat”.

How does one enter a Caveat?

We have raised previous blogs about this process which you can review at your leisure, one of which is as follows:

Let’s Talk About Caveats – Will Claim Solicitors

However, don’t just take our word for it; the government very helpfully provide their own spiel and helpful links and information as follows:

Stopping a probate application: Apply to enter a caveat – GOV.UK (

We recommend reviewing the above. As you will see, it only costs £3.00 to apply for a Caveat which then lasts for six months and must be renewed in the final month of its life.

The forms for applying for a Caveat (PA8A – although it is easier to do this using the on-line portal) and extending it (PA8B) can also be found on the government website.

It is usually effective, but you need to make sure you have the deceased’s correct date of death and full name. In a recent case that the writer was involved in, the deceased’s middle name was omitted and the Caveat was ignored. Disaster!

Getting rid of the Caveat

The Caveat can be “Warned”. This requires the person entering the Caveat (“the Caveator”) to enter an “Appearance” setting out the broad basis of their claim and reciting their right to inherit either under a previous valid Will or if none, by the rules of intestacy. Again the government provide guidance:

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

If an Appearance is entered then the Caveat becomes permanent (so no need to renew!) and can only be removed by way of an Order from the Probate Registry or via a full-blown claim in what used to be called the Chancery Division of the High Court.

The entry of an Appearance is often touted as the first step towards the main Court action (what is often referred to by practitioners as a CPR 57 claim). Don’t be fooled by this. If both parties consent then the removal of the Caveat goes through (via the Probate Registry) on the nod. However, this may not be so easy where the entry of the Caveat and its subsequent Appearance cause losses to the estate which cannot subsequently be justified by way of a claim against the legal validity of the Will (or by way of some other related claim). In these circumstances it might be possible for your opponent to at least recover costs against you so beware, take care and most importantly legal advice.

If no Appearance to a Warning is entered then the Caveat can be removed via a simple application to the Probate Registry. However, if an Appearance is entered but seemingly without justification, then another way to remove it (without having to issue the main court action in the High Court) is to apply for a “put up or shut up” order [again, just to the Probate Registry]. In other words, to apply for an Order that unless the Caveator issues his/her main Court claim within say 28 days that his/her Caveat is struck out. For more information about this refer to our earlier blog at:

Removing a Caveat Without Issuing Court Proceedings – Will Claim Solicitors

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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