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Caveat Warning (Probate)

Long story short...... property assets in dispute in FCC were transferred to ex's mother. Ex's Mother passed away. Ex is Executor of Estate. I put caveat on estate because of property transfers. Exs brother (also executor) put on a "caveat warning" to which i have 14 days to respond....... In Supreme Court. What is my next step? how do i present or appear in supreme court? Do i need to write an affidavit explaining why i want a hold on caveat? If so, what forms please? can i request an injunction in FCC for halt in grant of probate because of this? How do I apply "Harmon Undertaking" to my case if i want to produce affidavit evidence to Supreme Court to prove my ex is real owner and its in dispute in FCC? or vice versa. Thankyou

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Comments (3)
  • Cameron McKenzie I don’t usually deal with real property law, however, this is my understanding from NSW law that may assist but should not be relied upon. So please correct me if incorrect.
    The issue of a lapsing notice (under section 74J(1) of the Real Property Act 1900) seeks to remove caveats on title. The caveator then commences proceedings to extend the caveat.
    An application to extend a caveat should be made pursuant to section 74K of the Real Property Act. The application should be commenced in the Supreme Court by summons (not statement of claim) and with a supporting affidavit.
    This action seeks the court to issue an interlocutory injunction restraining the executor from dealing with the land pending the substantive trial of the caveator's claim.

    The court will need to be satisfied of two things, which should be detailed in the accompanying affidavit.

    Firstly there is there a serious question to be tried? This is not difficult to discharge. Essentially the caveator will need to show that it does have a prima facie claim and more precisely, a proprietary interest in the land.

    Secondly, does the balance of convenience favour the caveat being extended? This will largely depend on the facts of the case, however courts will often hold that the balance of convenience favours extending the caveat.

    Because of its urgent nature, you will need to file your application with the duty judge of the Supreme Court, not simply in the court registry. Accordingly, when your documents are ready, you should contact the associate to the duty judge and advise them of the urgent application and ask for a time to appear before the duty judge. Give as much warning as possible.

    Initially, you should write to the other party’s solicitor advising that you will not allow the caveat to lapse. You should then try to reach agreement in respect of the caveat. You could offer that you will allow the caveat to lapse and the sale to proceed on the basis that the amount of $X is paid into court from the sale proceeds. This letter is advantageous as it indicates compliance with the practice notes, indication of an attempt to reach agreement before making the application for extension and may be valuable when determining costs.

    Filing should be undertaken within 14 days of receiving the lapsing notice.

    Due to the urgency, orders should be sought on short notice. A caveator applying for an extension will normally be required to give an undertaking to the court as to damages: see Rule 25.8 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005.

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    • For any orders extending a caveat to be effective, not only must they be entered forthwith with the court, but they must be lodged with the Register General's office – Land & Property Information.

      From a family law perspective
      With family law property proceedings there is a duty of ongoing full and frank financial disclosure. It must be considered that post separation windfalls from inheritances or lottery wins can be excluded or taken into consideration in under s79 of the Family Law Act, particularly 79(4)(a) – (c) (s79 is for married, s90SM for de facto)

      It is arguable that you do not have a direct caveatable interest in the estate of the Ex’s mother which includes the real property. But rather the proceeds from the execution of the will to the benefit to your ex, and impact upon financial resources.

      I would strongly suggest seeking professional legal advice on this issue.

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      • Can of worms....... ex ran our business post separation without me (shut me out completely). Im a director. he ran it under another 2 different abns. Same business, clients, assets, suppliers, employees. This is what is called, my friends "PHOENIX TRADING". when i found it, he'd change the abn. the 3rd abn was put under his mothers name.........Thats where I believe i have claim, as well as the transfer of our marital assets to her. This is all in my  affidavits in FCC. This is all very confusing for me. and with 4 full folders of evidence, I have no money to pay a lawyer to catch up and read, and then risk to double up on everything thats been done already in the past 4 yrs. Lets add 2 false taxation lodgements by him, sighting me as beneficiary to this property that was in his mothers name that he was claiming off his tax for 10 years.........

        Thankyou so much for taking the time to respond Cameron. I will read and re read your comment to find some direction in this crazy court journey im on. 

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