28A-24-8. Protection of payors, bona fide purchasers, and other third parties; personal liability of recipient.

(a) A payor or other third party is not liable for having made a payment or transferred an item of property or any other benefit to a person designated in a governing instrument who, under this Article, is not entitled to the payment or item of property, or for having taken any other action in good faith reliance on the person's apparent entitlement under the terms of the governing instrument, before the payor or other third party received written notice of a claimed lack of entitlement under this Article. A payor or other third party is liable for a payment made or other action taken after the payor or other third party received written notice of a claimed lack of entitlement under this Article.

Written notice of a claimed lack of entitlement under this Article must be mailed to the payor's or other third party's main office or home by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, or served upon the payor or other third party in the same manner as a summons in a civil action. Upon receipt of written notice of a claimed lack of entitlement under this Article, a payor or other third party may pay any amount owed or transfer or deposit any item of property other than tangible personal property held by it to or with the clerk of the superior court having jurisdiction of the probate proceedings relating to the decedent's estate, or if no proceedings have been commenced, to or with the clerk of the superior court having jurisdiction of probate proceedings relating to decedents' estates located in the county of the decedent's residence. The clerk shall hold the funds or item of property and, upon the clerk's determination under this Article, shall order disbursement in accordance with the determination. Payments, transfers, or deposits made to or with the clerk discharge the payor or other third party from all claims for the value of amounts paid to or items of property transferred to or deposited with the clerk.

(b) A person who purchases property for value and without notice, or who received a payment or other item of property in partial or full satisfaction of a legally enforceable obligation, is neither obligated under this Article to return the payment, item of property, or benefit, nor liable under this Article for the amount of the payment or the value of the item of property or benefit. But a person who, not for value, receives a payment, item of property, or any other benefit to which the person is not entitled under this Article is obligated to return the payment, item of property, or benefit, or is personally liable for the amount of the payment or the value of the item of property or benefit, to the person who is entitled to it under this Article. (2007-132, s. 1.)