Jennifer Stebbing is an estate lawyer with Ross & McBride LLP in Hamilton, Ontario. Since 2017, Jennifer has used NoticeConnect to advertise for creditors for her clients. She likes that publishing notices to creditors with NoticeConnect is court-approved, fast, and cost effective. Her clients like that she is taking this important, but often overlooked, step to protect them from liability.
Recently, one of Jennifer’s clients was the executor of a family member’s estate. Jennifer explained to them that if they distributed the estate without advertising for creditors, they could be held personally liable for any outstanding debts. The client agreed that publishing a notice to creditors on NoticeConnect was a sensible precaution and so Jennifer published the notice on their behalf.
Several months after the expiry date listed in the ad, she was contacted by an institutional creditor seeking to collect a five-figure debt owed by the deceased. Jennifer pointed them to the notice on NoticeConnect, and advised the creditor that the expiry date had passed. The creditor was familiar with NoticeConnect and ceased attempting to collect.
Publishing an inexpensive notice to creditors on NoticeConnect protected Jennifer’s client from a five-figure debt they were unaware existed. To protect their estate administration clients, lawyers should advertise for creditors or obtain written instructions from the client confirming that they do not wish to advertise.