What are Trustee Act Notices?

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Probate trustee act notices

Trustee Act Notices provide protection from future claims by creditors. 

What is a Trustee Act Notice?

A Trustee Act notice (sometimes called a ‘section 27 notice’, and also a ‘statutory advertisement’) is an advertisement placed in designated publications to give notice to creditors or beneficiaries that they must declare any interest they believe they have in the estate.

Why have Trustee Act Notices?

Having placed the Trustee Act notice, executors/trustees can then distribute the assets without fear of future claims from creditors being made against them.  This is of particular significance when you remember that executors carry a personal liability in administering an estate.  If executors decide to place statutory adverts, they will probably do so ahead of paying either cash legacies, or any of the residuary estate.

When should Executors place Trustee Act Notices?

Timewise, the notices should be placed after the Grant of Probate has been issued, and at least 8 weeks before assets of the estate are then distributed.  In terms of circumstances, executors should consider placing the notices if they have any reason to believe there may be creditors or beneficiaries lurking that they have not been able to locate.

Why are Trustee Act Notices sometimes called Section 27 Notices?

In fact, the explanation for both names derives from the legislation that makes them law.  The Trustee Act of 1925 still defines the majority of law applicable to executors and trustees in what they can and cannot do.  Section 27 of that legislation deals with the protection afforded by these formal notices.

Where do Executors place Trustee Act Notices?

Executors should firstly place a notice in the Gazette.  If the deceased owned a property, they should also place a notice in the newspaper local to that property.  They are free to place notices elsewhere should they feel it may be of benefit – eg if the deceased had particular connections with certain towns or cities.

Do Executors have to place a section 27 Notice?

No – there is no requirement that executors place notices when dealing with probate.  However, the protection that it affords them makes is sensible ‘good practice’.

What details go into a Section 27 Notice?

The details that go into a notice are:

  • deceased’s name
  • deceased’s date of birth
  • deceased’s address
  • deceased’s occupation
  • details of the executors

How do you place Trustee Act Notices?

You can place the Gazette advert online directly with them.  This can be done at the Gazette websiteThe Gazette can also arrange to place a local advert for you too.  Alternatively, there are other online services that can deal with this for you, for example Estate Search.

If you are the executor of an estate and would like help placing Statutory Advertisements, QLAW can help!  We charge a modest fee for doing so, plus the estate will of course be liable for the actual notice fee due to the Gazette and local publication.

What happens after placing a Section 27 Notice?

Two months and 1 day after the notices have been placed, the executors can distribute assets without fear of personal liability if creditors come forward.  The rationale with the notice process is part of demonstrating that the executors have taken all reasonable steps to identify potential liabilities of the estate.

Want help with Trustee Act Notices?

If you need help with Trustee Act Notices, and you haven’t found the answer to your questions, do reach out.  QLAW’s expert probate solicitors can help with all aspects of estate administration for executors, trustees, and beneficiaries.  You can leave a comment below, or contact us by email or phone.

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