7. What are citations and caveats to a Will?
A citation is used to force some action or step in relation to the taking of the grant to the estate. It is issued by the Probate Registry and takes four main types:
- a citation to accept or refuse a grant, governed by r.46 of the Non-Contentious Probate Rules (Cap. 10A);
- a citation to force executors who are entitled to apply for a grant, but who have not yet done so, to apply for a grant governed by r.46 of the Non-Contentious Probate Rules (Cap. 10A);
- a citation to clear off prior right to a grant governed by r.46 of the Non-Contentious Probate Rules (Cap. 10A);
- a citation to propound the will, governed by r.47.
A caveat is a means of preventing a grant of probate or administration from being sealed without the caveator's knowledge. It remains valid for six months, after which it becomes ineffective unless renewed. However, a caveat can be renewed repeatedly every six months, potentially impacting the estate for many years. Strictly speaking, a caveat should only be lodged to prevent the making of a grant in the event where there is a dispute of validity of the grant or the entitled person, but they are often used to safeguard third-party claims against the estate, which may be considered an abuse of the process.