Payment of debts—solvent estate
Payment of debts—solvent estate

The following Wills & Probate guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Payment of debts—solvent estate
  • Time for payment
  • Unknown debts
  • Unprosecuted debts
  • Statute-barred debts
  • Meaning of solvent
  • Secured debts—general rule
  • Contrary intention—Secured debts
  • Unsecured debts—the statutory order
  • Unsecured debts—assets falling outside the statutory order
  • more

Time for payment

Personal representatives (PRs) have a duty to pay the deceased's debts with due diligence, having regard to the assets in their hands that are properly applicable for that purpose and all the circumstances of the case.

Due diligence will normally require payment to be made before the end of the 'executor's year'. The PRs must justify any delay.

Unknown debts

PRs remain liable to the creditors and beneficiaries of the estate for any unpaid debts or liabilities.

PRs may protect themselves from unknown debts by:

  1. placing the statutory advertisement for claims under section 27 of the Trustee Act 1925 (TA 1925) or

  2. seekin