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Jessica Blackmore

Probate Executive - East Sussex (Uckfield)

3rd April 2024

Understanding Section 27 Trustee Act 1925

Embarking on the journey of dealing with the administration of an estate can be a labyrinth of intricate tasks and legal nuances. Understanding all the different laws, regulations, and rules can be daunting. Section 27 of the Trustee Act 1925 is a cornerstone in the process of dealing with the administration of an estate; it deals with Trustees, Executors, or Administrators publishing a notice – the Statutory Advertisement – in both local and national newspapers.

What is Section 27 of the Trustee Act 1925?

The administration of an estate often involves a series of complex tasks, and one crucial aspect is ensuring that potential creditors and claimants are duly identified. Section 27 of the Trustee Act 1925 plays a pivotal role in this process, encouraging Trustees, Executors or Administrators to publish a notice known as a Statutory Advertisement within the local and national newspapers. The advertisements serve as a formal announcement of an individual’s death and asks for creditors to come forward with any outstanding claims against the estate – so no stone is left unturned!

The purpose of the advertisements is twofold. First, they allow Trustees, Executors or Administrators a means by which they can reach a wide audience in order to identify potential creditors meaning when distributions are made, as much has been done as possible to identify those who may be entitled to reimbursement. Secondly, Section 27 establishes a specific two-month window, starting from the date of publication of the notices, before any distributions are made. Following the end of that two-month window, Trustees, Executors or Administrators are shielded from personal liability in respect of any money they distribute, provided they have not been made aware of the claim. However, it is important to bear in mind that the notices only offer protection at the time when the distribution is made, so even if notices are placed and a creditor comes forward one year later, the notices only offer protection for all distributions that have been made prior to the creditor coming forward.

Failing to publish the advertisements exposes Trustees, Executors and Administrators to potential liability, obliging them to repay any creditor or beneficiary who comes forward after monies have been distributed. If the funds cannot be recovered from the beneficiaries, this repayment may need to come from their personal funds, underscoring the importance of placing Statutory Advertisements as soon as possible.

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If you need assistance after the loss of a loved one, please contact a member of our Probate team. Our dedicated team can assist you with the administration of the estate and our residential property services team can deal with the sale of the property if you wish.