What is a Section 27 Notice in Probate?
4 May 2021 by Jane Golding
Fisher Jones Greenwood Can Answer Your Estate Questions
When a loved one passes away there are many things that must be handled to ensure the deceased’s final affairs are in order. This process can be difficult to navigate, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the steps. There will also be many other things to care of, such as the funeral arrangements. All of this can quickly become overwhelming, but Fisher Jones Greenwood is here to help you through the probate process. One of the most commonly overlooked items on the to-do list is the placing of a Section 27 Notice. If you’re unsure what this is, you’re not alone. Our trained Legal experts will explain everything and help you place this important announcement. Please reach out to us today for more information on how we can help.
What Is It?
A Section 27 Notice, also known as a Statutory Advertisement, is an advertisement that a personal representative or trustee places in the local media to announce the death of an individual. It acts as an official record to inform any potential creditors that the individual has died and that their estate will be distributed soon, allowing creditors time to make their claims against the estate for owed money. This important legal step was enacted by Section 27 of the Trustee Act of 1925 and was meant to protect personal representatives of the estate from creditors and beneficiaries.
How Does It Work?
When you, as a personal representative or trustee of the deceased’s estate, file a Section 27 Notice, you are essentially notifying creditors of the person’s passing. After the filing, creditors have the opportunity to claim back property or money that is owed by the deceased before the Estate is distributed. The notice has a timeframe of two months. Any creditors who come forward during this time have a claim to receive their money from the estate. Once the two-month timeframe has passed, any creditors who have failed to come forward cannot hold the personal representative or trustee liable for unpaid debt accrued by the deceased. In this way, a Section 27 Notice serves to protect the personal representative from collection actions by the deceased’s creditors.
Is It Required?
It is not legally required to place a Section 27 Notice. However, it is highly recommended, as it will protect you from any personal liability if a creditor for the deceased comes forward and makes a claim further in the future. If you are a personal representative and do not place a Section 27 Notice, you can be held personally liable and may be forced to settle the outstanding debt with the creditor. It is in your best interest as a personal representative or trustee to place a Section 27 Notice. Our trained legal experts can help you through this process.
What Happens If Creditors Do Not Come Forward?
If creditors do not come forward during the two-month timeframe to collect the debt, the estate will be distributed to beneficiaries in accordance with the deceased’s final will and testament. However, it’s essential to know that missing the timeframe for the notice does not mean the creditors cannot recover the debt in other ways. A Section 27 Notice only protects the personal representative from being held personally liable for the debt. If a creditor fails to come forward during the two-month timeframe, they are still entitled to claim the amount owed from the estate’s beneficiaries. This means that the beneficiaries of the deceased may be responsible for paying back the debt from the money or property they received as an inheritance.
How to Place a Section 27 Notice
In most cases, a section 27 Notice is placed by a professional, such as a Solicitor or a professional executor. But it is possible for anyone to put these notices in the local media. In order to place a Section 27 Notice, you’ll first need to obtain a grant of probate, a letter of administration, or a death certificate. You’ll then need to get in contact with the local newspaper or media, fill out the appropriate paperwork, and provide the required documentation. If you are acting as a personal representative to a deceased loved one, our trained legal experts can help you through this process.
Contact Us Today
Fisher Jones Greenwood has many years of experience in probate and estates, and we’re here to help you navigate this confusing system. If we can assist you in the administration of an estate, we encourage you to reach out to us today. We can answer any questions and provide the guidance you need. Please contact us to set up a time to meet and discuss your needs on 01206 700113 or by email at [email protected].