Time Limits for Legal Claims Against an Estate

Gary Green
Gary Green
December 12, 2017

There are time limits in place for legal claims against an estate.

Executors of an estate must settle all legal claims, debts and liabilities associated with the deceased in a timely manner.

However, in some cases the claims can be difficult to ascertain. An executor can be liable for the debts of an estate. He must deal with all liabilities and debts before making payments.

There are special rules for executors dealing with insolvent estates. There is a legal protection that executors can use before finalising an estate to demonstrate that they have done all they can to identify any outstanding creditors.

Claims For Maintenance

Place claims via a Section 27 notice in an official government publication called The Gazette and a local newspaper. Section 27 refers to Section 27 of the Trustee Act 1925.  This notice gives creditors a two month window in which to register a claim against an estate.

A claim for maintenance can also be made against an estate within 6 months from the date probate is granted. This is known as claim for ‘reasonable financial provision’ and can be made by people defined in legislation including the deceased’s children, spouses and civil partners.

The executor usually takes at least 12 months before paying anything from an estate. This ensures that all claims have been dealt with. For more complex estates this can take significantly longer. We are happy to help advise you to the most appropriate course of action needed. Call us in the office.

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