Estate Trustees have the authority to settle claims against the estate. Claims may be asserted by a creditor, often in response to an Advertisement for Creditors.
An Advertisement for Creditors typically runs for three consecutive weeks in a daily newspaper in the area where the deceased lived and worked at the time of death. The date by which all claims must be submitted to the estate solicitor is usually one month after the first date that the advertisement is published whereafter, once the time period for filing claims has expired, the newspaper will provide an Affidavit of Proof of Publication.
While there is no statutory requirement to advertise for creditors, there are several reasons why it is prudent practice:
- to confirm that there are no outstanding creditors (especially if the deceased carried on an active business) and thereby eliminate liability with respect to such a claim if it arises after the estate has been distributed;
- if the estate trustee wants to pass his accounts it is usually required on the first passing of accounts; or
- on an intestacy, if the estate trustee wants to distribute the estate prior to the expiration of one year after the death of the intestate.
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