If you are considering filing a Caveat, then you are contemplating a Will Contest. If you are contacting me to remove a caveat, then you are about to enter a Will Contest. Either way, you are in need of a Caveat Attorney.
A Caveat is just a minor, first step. The result is a Will Contest. A Will Contest is technically challenging, and few law firms focus in this practice. Each step affects the next. One wrong step can damage the result. Comprehending the complexities of a Will Contest requires not only litigation skills, but also a thorough understanding of probate, taxes, and estate planning. These skills take years to master. An attorney who only dabbles in Will Challenges cannot hope to experience the volume of work necessary. You are well advised to consult with an Estate Litigation firm with a long history of Will Contests.
Before the Will’s probate, interested parties may file a Caveat; the first step of a Will Contest. If correctly filed, a Caveat prevents the Surrogate or Register of Wills from probating a presented Will until notifying the Caveator. Once told, the Caveator may review the document and decide to pursue the Will Contest. If the decision is to continue, a Formal Caveat must present and plead terms the same as a Petition for a Will Contest. If incorrectly done, you may waive potential challenges. Though you might be tempted to file a Caveat with the advice of an experienced Estate Litigation Attorney, your decision might result in the cases’ dismissal. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish. If you are considering a Will Contest, you are considering serious, expensive litigation that will likely take more than a year. Don’t ruin your chance at success by sloppy work in the beginning.
Filing a Caveat may or may not be to your advantage. The primary benefit being that it is possible for the Surrogate or Register of Wills to appoint a temporary, neutral party to serve as Administrator during the challenge. A neutral Administrator prevents the named Executor from gaining control over the Probate Assets. But, a disadvantage is that the Surrogate or Register may hold what amounts to a mini-trial, which can be costly. Because the results are appealable, the hearing is not binding, but the cost is real.
If considering a Caveat, it is best to consult with our Estate Litigation Attorneys. They will review the unique facts of your case and help you understand your options.
If you are an Executor trying to file a Will, only to discover a Caveat, contact us immediately. As described above, a Caveat is the first step in a Will Contest. You quickly need an Estate Litigation Attorney’s advice. Preventing you from serving as Executor is the Caveator’s goal. Careful, reasoned response to a Caveat is warranted. Further, don’t miss the chance of Removing a Caveat. We can help.
Having your estate litigation attorney file a caveat with the Register of Wills or Surrogate is often the first strategic step in a Will Contest. Failing to file the caveat can give an advantage to the proponent of a will that you believe is an invalid product of undue influence, forgery or incapacity.
A caveat (Latin for “let him beware”) is a notice filed to prevent the proponent of that will from gaining official recognition as the executor. The person who files the caveat is known as a “caveator”.
A concerned beneficiary or other party to an estate may wish to stop a specific will from being filed. To prevent the filing of a will the beneficiary or interested party may have an attorney familiar with caveats, a “Caveat Attorney”, file the necessary petition. The result being that the person has the right to review the will filed and to object to the will prior to the person named in the questionable will being formally appointed and gaining control over estate assets. An experienced caveat attorney represents the beneficiary’s rights, advises the beneficiary about the procedures of filing the caveat and how to respond should an attempt be made to file a will. Attorney Peter Klenk and his team have decades of experience serving as Caveat Attorneys.
A caveat proceeding is often the first step in a more complex proceeding, such as a Will Challenge. It is important that procedure is followed and no opportunities are missed. The penalty might be that control is given to the opposing party. A Caveat Attorney assists the caveator. The caveator is likely not experienced in trusts and estates litigation and the Caveat Lawyer can guide them through this unfamiliar territory. By retaining an experienced Caveat Lawyer, you will likely save a great deal of time, and money, because an experienced Caveat Attorney will already be familiar with the caveat procedures and rules.
If you have any questions about caveats or any other estate law topics, please contact us to schedule a free consultation.
For more than two decades Klenk Law has focused only on Estate Law. We’ve seen it all, and this experience allows us to explain complex Estate Law and Probate clearly and concisely. If you are involved in Probate Litigation, our experienced Probate Litigation Attorneys will make it easy for you to understand and provide top notch representation so you can make the best decisions for yourself and your family.
Many firms assign Estate Litigation cases to their young lawyers or a general litigator. This is not cost effective. Being that Estate Litigation is what we do, our experience allows us to focus quickly on the issues that matter. By being focused, we arrive at the most cost efficient plan. We find the solution to your problem while the others are just warming up.
While some firms litigate, few of them have whole departments focused exclusively on estate matters. At Klenk Law, our Probate Litigators have the luxury of partnering with other lawyers from our Probate or Estate Planning Departments. The depth of experience we can focus on your case is truly impressive. Whatever issue you are facing, our team has the answer.
Our breadth of experience allows us to successfully represent beneficiaries taking on lazy trustees and executors. In the same way, we are equally skilled at protecting trustees and executors from ungrateful beneficiaries. Whether you are a fiduciary, agent, guardian or beneficiary, our skills will best represent your case.
I've worked with and known Peter Klenk and his associates for years. They are highly professional, diligent and truly experts in their field. By focusing on just wills, trusts, and estates, Klenk law has experienced every angle of estate planning and applied that knowledge to help prepare our clients with thorough and comprehensive documents.
Always professional and very responsive. Everyone on the staff that I have worked with. I look forward to continuing our relationship.
Peter and his associates were a pleasure to work with. He explained the process clearly and provided assistance nearly instantaneously. Highly recommended for trusts-and-estates-related needs!
I saw four lawyers and was told by all of them; I should just forget contesting my mother's will. I knew what happened, but it is very hard to prove undue influence. I contacted the Law Offices of Peter L. Klenk & Associates. Attorney Amanda DiChello took my case. They were very honest and upfront about what would be involved trying to prove what I knew was true. Attorney DiChello may be young but she is extremely knowledgeable and skilled. She listened and understood what I conveyed to her. She knew exactly what information to use and crafted an outstanding interrogatory and many powerful depositions. Attorney DiChello understood the various emotional feelings this case created for my family and me; she was always there for us with a kind and encouraging word. We went to trial. The amount of work which she and her Paralegal did for the trial was incredible. They both knew my case inside and out! Attorney DiChello's powerful interrogative and thinking skills produced a positive outcome. Attorney DiChello did what other seasoned lawyers said was impossible!
Peter Klenk ESQ is a thoughtful and capable attorney who we work with on estate planning issues. His firm recently provided us with new Wills, Power of Attorneys and our instructions regarding major health issues. These documents are important for estate and life planning. Peter and his team are masters in the complexities of Estate Law. We highly recommend Peter and his Associates to provide thoughtful advice and outstanding work on these complex issues of the law. Make sure your estate planning documents are up to date, and Peter can be relied on to do an excellent job. Well done Peter!