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What Is A Caveat In A Probate Procedure?

Probate is a word that is often mentioned in Estate matters.

When a person dies their Will needs to be filed with the Court so that a Grant of Probate can be made. The application to the Court for a Grant of Probate includes, a statement from the Executor, that the Will is the last valid Will of the deceased, as well as a list of the assets and liabilities of the deceased.

Every application for a Grant of Probate made to the Court is required to be advertised. The purpose of advertising the application for a Grant of Probate, is to allow any interested persons to object to the application. An objection to an application for a Grant of Probate, can be on numerous grounds including, a belief that the Will being admitted to Probate is not the final Will of the deceased, or that the Will being admitted to Probate was made by the deceased under duress, or was forged!

If you believe that a Will being admitted to Probate was not the last, or valid Will of the deceased, then you need to act quickly. By lodging a Probate Caveat you can stop the Executor named in the Will distributing any of the assets of the Estate, until it has been proved to the Court that the Will that has been admitted for Probate is the last valid Will of the deceased.

A Probate Caveat needs to be made correctly and within the time limits in order to effectively stop the distribution of the Estate. The timing on lodging a Probate Caveat is short, which is why it is so important to seek expert legal advice as soon as possible. If you miss the window of opportunity in which to lodge a Probate Caveat, it can make it very difficult to later object to the Will that has been granted Probate.

Another important reason to seek expert legal advice as soon as possible is, that penalties may apply if a Probate Caveat is not made on proper grounds. To ensure that you are not opening yourself up to a potential penalty, you need to have an expert legal adviser in this area review your evidence in relation to the objection to the Grant of Probate, to ensure that the grounds you are relying on are true and correct, to the best of your knowledge.

The procedure for lodging a Probate Caveat is subject to the Supreme Court rules, which is another good reason to make sure that you have an expert legal adviser on your side, to ensure that your application is made within time and on valid grounds.

Graeme Heckenberg is an expert Wills & Estates lawyer and will be able to guide and advise you on Probate Caveats as well as the process of objecting to a Grant of Probate. If you are living on the Northern Beaches and surrounding Peninsula and need expert advice, call The Northern Beaches Lawyer today for a consultation on 9221 0341. 

Offices conveniently located on Old Barrenjoey Road, Avalon.

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