Validity proceedings – risks and rewards
Andrew Bishop, Solicitor at Access Legal Solicitors
In this article, we explore the legal action that hit the headlines recently in respect of the court case being […]
The inefficient process of waiting for the publishing period of a statutory Section 27 notice (under the Trustee Act 1925 for England, or the Trustee Act 1958 in Northern Ireland) in The Gazette to expire, locate creditors and mitigate risk to executors is set to be transformed with the launch of the Estatesearch™ Credit & Liabilities Report.
Risq has worked in strategic partnership with Experian to provide access to comprehensive creditor and account details on a deceased person’s estate via a secure online portal. This milestone delivers an innovative solution in line with the Steering Committee on Reciprocity (SCOR) published guidance for bereavement services and Estate Administration due diligence. Using a combination of digital records and insurance protection, the Estatesearch™ Credit & Liabilities Report will make the process far more efficient, providing information and alerts on creditors within 48 hours, allowing for early distribution to be made while mitigating the liabilities to executors, administrators and personal representatives.
The first priority is to check if an estate is bankrupt or insolvent. An insolvent estate is when a deceased person’s debts are greater than the total value of assets, and therefore money is owed to their creditors. The rules of bankruptcy apply to insolvent estates, in that groups of creditors must be paid in a specific order of priority.
The next step is to publish a deceased estate’s notice (under the Trustee Act 1925 for England, or the Trustee Act 1958 in Northern Ireland) in both The Gazette and a local newspaper to ensure that sufficient effort has been made to locate creditors, prior to distributing the estate to beneficiaries and protecting the executor or trustee from being liable from any unidentified creditors.
The online service, believed to be the first of its kind, is the result of a close working relationship between Risq and Experian’s Partnerships and Alliances team. Estatesearch™ accesses the Delphi and ExPin services to identify liabilities associated with the deceased estate. The main features of ExPin enables an improved matching engine that will mean an increase in data returned as well as a reduction in false positives, providing even greater confidence in the results.
As Colin Blears, Director of Risq Ventures explains “Administering the estate of a deceased person can be an extremely stressful and emotional process for the family and professionals involved. With an increasing number of consumers using online services, the process of finding information on the deceased’s financial liabilities is becoming harder. Yet publishing a Section 27 statutory notice and an advert in a local newspaper for a period of at least 2 months or replacing with an indemnity policy to protect the executors and administrators, still remains the most common practice by probate professionals.”
“However, this approach can cause disruption to the family, delays in the process of estate administration and only opting to use insurance for speed can be seen as taking a light touch. The Estatesearch™ Credit & Liabilities Report provides a more efficient and reliable alternative in a fraction of the time compared to what many would consider a rather slow and unsatisfactory process in today’s digital world.”
The Estate Search Credit & Liabilities Report includes:-
The scheme still allows the Executor to continue to place a Section 27 statutory notice, with the Protection applicable just four weeks from date of publication.
The Estatesearch™ Credit & Liabilities Report including protection for executors, administrators and personal representatives is now available and costs £185+VAT which is chargeable as a disbursement to the estate. For further information go to www.estatesearch.co.uk
Alastair Luff Director of Products, Consumer Information Services, UK & Ireland at Experian said; “Our work with Risq Ventures demonstrates our commitment to innovation. Risq Ventures have identified a new sector that could benefit from a digital, data-driven solution. The new Estatesearch™ Credit & Liabilities Report is powered by our Experian ExPin, providing exceptional data match rates which ensure faster decision for consumers. ExPin ensures you won’t have to work with fragmented or siloed data, improving decisions and creating a better experience for you and your customers. It utilises our wealth of experience within the data world, giving help and guidance, and data matching capabilities.”
This article was submitted to be published by Estatesearch as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Wills and Probate. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Wills and Probate.
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