I am indebted to a recent item on the STEP (Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners) blog. It has been brought to my attention that a Section 27 Notice may not cover Executors in the event of a later claim by DWP (Department of Work & Pensions).
A previous blog post by myself dealt with the process of serving a Notice under Section 27 of the Trustee Act 1925, advising any potential creditors of the deceased that they have up to two months to make the Executors or Trustees aware of their claim. If Executors have served the due Notice, and a claimant subsequently comes forward, the Executors are protected from personal liability for the debt.
If Executors or Trustees do not serve a Notice and a valid debt is then claimed, the Executors or Trustees can be made personally liable for the debt.
An exception to the Section 27 Notice protection is however, a claim by DWP, for overpayment of State benefits of any kind, including State pension. Care should therefore be taken even if a Section 27 Notice has been served, to ensure that there is no likelihood of a claim being made by DWP.
About the author
Roger Pratt is a Consultant and Head of the Private Client Department of Hopkins Solicitors LLP, and a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. If you have a legal question on Wills, Probate, Intestacy, Trusts or any related matter, please contact Roger.