How long cansomeone keep a caveat on a Will/estate?

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How long cansomeone keep a caveat on a Will/estate?

My sister filed caveat against our mother’s Will about 4 1/2 years ago. The original executor was approved, did newspaper posts, sworn in by clerk of court. A few weeks later sister filed caveat; she did not like the executor. After 2 years, she agreed to drop caveat if the executor resigned. He did and the court appointed another. In the 2 years since, she has refused to cancel the caveat as promised. This is her only way to prevent the estate from closing. Is there a time limit on caveats?The new executor (who is an attorney) says he can’t do anything until she cancels the caveat. Can he sue on the estates behalf and force it cancelled or can it stay there indefinitely? 

Asked on December 12, 2011 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

My experience is that as long as a "caveat" has been filed with respect to the probate of a given estate, it remains there unless there is a written stipulation and order by the person who filed it that it be removed, or an interested person under the Will being probated files a motion to have it removed after a hearing on the matter decided by the Probate Court.

In your matter, if your sister will not voluntarily remove the "caveat", I would recommend that the executor or executrix of the estate file a petition to have it removed so that the estate can proceed in an orderly manner to be closed after assets are distributed.


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