Filing a caveat before someone dies


A probate caveat is a document that is filed in court to prevent the proposed executors or administrators of a deceased person’s estate from getting permission to administer the estate assets.


Attorney Tom Olsen: Karen, you're on News 965, go ahead.

Karen: Yes, hi Tom. Thank you for taking my call. I wanted to find out about a caveat at a daughter brought against her father's will because she was more or less left out of her father's will. The caveat was sent over to the circuit court, and then the daughter reached an agreement with the personal representative. They dismissed the caveat in the circuit court with prejudice. Then the settlement agreement that they had reached was invalidated.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Let me tell you what I know about this, Karen, and first of all, I'll to bring the listeners up to speed. A caveat is a document that you file with the probate court in the county where somebody lives. Basically, it's saying, "Hey", let's say the guy is Bill, "Bill's not dead yet, but someday when Bill passes away, I'm filing this caveat because I want you to let me know that Bill has passed away and a probate pleading has been filed."

You might be doing this for your daughter's reason because you want to know if you're a beneficiary. You might be doing this because Bill owed you money and you want to know when to file a claim in the estate. The caveat in itself of itself does not create any legal rights other than the right to be notified that he's been passed away.