LAND LAW AND CONVEYANCING REFORMS

Publication Date01 Jan 1970
DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2230.1970.tb01258.x
120
TEE
MODERN
LAW
REVIEW
VOL.
a3
THE
EDITOE,
Dear Sir,
I
wish
to
answer two of the points made
by
Mr. A.
I.
Ogus
in
his
criticism of the Law Commission’s
Report
on Proceedings Against Estates
at
(1969)
82
M.L.R.
551.
One of Mr.
Ogus’s
main concerns is that the Law
Commission’s recommendation that the
“six
months‘ rule’’ be abolished
will
lead
to
undue delay in
the
administration of
estates.
The Law Commission
pointed out that the personal representatives may protect themselves by
advertising for claims under section
27
of the
Trustee
Act
1925.
Mr.
Ogus
comments that “If the personal representatives had no suspicion of
a
claim
it seems unlikely that they would have protected themselves by advertising
under section
27.”
This comment, however, ignores that
it
is
at
present the
common, and certainly
the
wise,
practice
to
publish
a
section
27
advertisement,
if only for the purpose of ascertaining any debts
against
the estate. The
practice is not followed,
at
present, in
cases
(i)
where the
estate
is very small,
(ii) where inquiries from the next-of-kin do not reveal any likelihood of
unknown debts, and (iii) presumably, where
the
estate
is administered
without legal advice. Since the standard form of advertisement includes
all
types
of claims against the
estate
(see,
for example, the precedent in the
EncycW&
of
Form
antd
Prmodents,
rlth
ed., Vol.
8,
p. 760),
it follows
that
in
the
majority of cases the personal representatives are on the existing
practice protected against unforeseen claims.
No
doubt, if the Law Com-
mission’s proposal
is
implemented by legislation,
it
will
become the practice
to
advertise for claims in respect of all
estates
being
administered with legal
advice; the protection
is
very cheaply bought and involves very little delay.
Mr.
Ogus’s
fears about undue delays in administration
are
therefore likely to
prove groundless.
The protection conferred by section
27
does not, of course, avail the
beneficiaries, and Mr.
Ogus
is
right to point out the difficulties caused by
a
large
claim against the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries
are
equally
at
risk
in
respect
of
other claims, however, for example
a
claim by an unpaid
creditor
or
a
wrongfully deprived beneficiary. In
my
view, there is no good
reason, and certainly Mr.
Ogus
does not suggest
any,
why the beneficiaries
should be in
a
better position where the claim is against
the
estate
as
representing the deceased tortfeasor.
The
Modom
Law
Redew.
G.
BAnEaSaY.
U&0T&y
Of
Sh0fl0k8.
LAND
LAW
AND CONVEYANCING
REFO’RMS
THE
Law of Property Act
1969
(considered in
an
article by Stephen Cretney
under the above title in
(1969)
82
M.L.R.
477)
received the
Royal
Assent
an
October
22,
1969.
Last
minute
chaniges after
the
aficle
went
to
p~ess
have the following effects
:
The Act (with
a
minor exception) came into force on January
1,
1970
(not three months after the Royal Assent,
as
stated
in
note
2
on
A new clause was introduced into Part
I
of the Act, dealing with the
law of business tenancies; the correct references
to
the Act ‘in the
article can be found
by
adding
1
to
each section reference.
A number of minor drafting changes were made.
It
is
not thought
that these affect the accuracy of the article.
p.
477).

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