Q&As

Can a creditor apply for a grant and recover a debt owed by the deceased where the limitation period for recovering the debt has expired? What is the process for an application under section 116 of the Senior Courts Act 1981?

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Published on LexisPSL on 24/09/2020

The following Wills & Probate Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can a creditor apply for a grant and recover a debt owed by the deceased where the limitation period for recovering the debt has expired? What is the process for an application under section 116 of the Senior Courts Act 1981?
  • Applications under section 116 of the Senior Courts Act 1981
  • Power of a creditor to settle the debt owed to them after obtaining the grant

Can a creditor apply for a grant and recover a debt owed by the deceased where the limitation period for recovering the debt has expired? What is the process for an application under section 116 of the Senior Courts Act 1981?

As set out in the Q&A: ‘Can a creditor take out administration'>letters of administration if the family of the deceased are refusing to do so?’, a grant may be made to a creditor of the deceased even if the debt is statute barred. See Commentary: Grant to a creditor: Tristram and Coote’s Probate Practice [6.351] and Coombs v Coombs, which held that the creditor of an intestate is entitled to a grant of administration, although their right of action is barred by the Statute of Limitations:

‘The question then arises whether a man who claims to be in possession of a right of this description [a debt that is statute barred] is a creditor in such a sense that this Court is justified in handing over to him the intestate’s effects, and thus putting it in his power to pay himself the money which he says was due to him without more ado. It is argued that the debt is not extinguished by the statute but only the remedy barred, and such no doubt is the language commonly held in courts of law on the

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