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What is a caveat?

A caveat prevents the issue of a grant of probate or grant of administration. For more information, see Caveats, warnings and appearances.

  1. Can an executor be removed?

    An executor (also known as a personal representative) can potentially be removed if there is good reason to do so as long as removing him/her will benefit the estate. For example if:
    - The executor is of "bad character" (e.g. he/she has been convicted of a crime);
    - The executor is incapable of performing their duties by virtue of a physical or mental disability;
    - The executor has carried out serious misconduct (for example stealing funds from the estate);
    - The executor is unsuitable for the position (for example there is a conflict of interest as the personal representative has a claim against the estate).
    Executors cannot retire once they have accepted their appointment except by court order.
  2. How can I obtain a copy of a will?

    While a person is still alive, their will is strictly confidential and only they can give a copy to you. Once that person dies, their personal representatives stand in their shoes. It is then for the personal representative to decide whether to provide a copy to you.
    Once a grant of probate has been issued the will becomes a public document and anyone can obtain a copy from the Probate Registry.
  3. How can I prevent a Grant of Probate from being issued?

    You can prevent either a grant of probate or grant of administration by lodging a caveat at the Probate Registry. For more information, see Caveats, warnings and appearances.
  4. I think there is a more recent will to the one that is going to be admitted to probate. What can I do?

    If you think there is a more recent will to the one which will be admitted to probate, you should lodge a caveat with the Probate Registry as a matter of urgency to prevent the grant of probate being obtained for the earlier will.
  5. What information regarding the estate am I entitled to as a beneficiary?

    As beneficiary you are entitled to certain information regarding the estate, including sufficient estate accounts. For more information, see What Rights does a Beneficiary have to Trust Information?

Contact our Disputed Wills and Trusts Team on freephone 0800 0931336, or by email willdisputes@ashfords.co.uk for a free, no obligation chat to see how we can help you.

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