If the unfortunate event of a loved one’s passing occurs, his or her estate will either have to go through probate (if a will is written prior to his or her death) or administration (if your loved one dies without a will).
In the case where you have beneficial interest in the deceased’s estate and maintain concerns about the suitability or capability of the executor of will or the person applying to be the administrator of the estate, and do not want their application of a grant of probate or a letters of administration to go through, you can lodge a caveat.
What is a Caveat?
According to section 33 of the Probate and Administration Act, lodging a caveat allows the caveator (the person who filed the caveat) to have the opportunity to contest the right to a grant and no probate or letters of administration shall be granted without notice to the caveator.
Why Lodge a Caveat?
When a caveat is successfully lodged, it will be valid for 6 months from the date it is entered. During that time no grant will be made until the caveator has had the opportunity to contest the right of the probate or administration applicant.
How To Lodge a Caveat?
A caveat is usually lodged on behalf, by a lawyer as they have easier access to the court system to apply for a caveat and it can only be entered after the death of the deceased and before probate or letters of administration have been granted. The caveator must be able to show that the grant of probate or letter of administration will affect his/her interest in the deceased’s estate.
What follows after the lodging of a caveat is likely a contentious dispute over the right of a grant of probate or letters of administration. It can potentially be a complex process thus it is recommended to engage professional help for this matter.