When a loved one appoints you as the personal representative of an estate, you have several responsibilities during probate. One of the crucial elements is handling creditor claims.
While disseminating an estate as set out by the deceased, things may crop up that you did not know about. Creditor claims may take time to resolve, and at the end of the day, a judge may have the final say.
How do creditors find out about a will in probate?
One of your duties as a personal representative is to notify people that the probate process has begun. While you may directly contact heirs named in the will, you do not have to do this with creditors. Probate requires you to publish a public notice that the will is going through court. This is where creditors find out that your loved one has died.
What action do creditors take to file a claim?
Creditors have one year from the notice date to file a claim. Creditors may do this by going directly to the court or sending a notice to you as the personal representative. A creditor with a judgment or lien against assets or property may file a claim quickly since the decedent likely knew about this debt.
Which creditors get paid first?
You may pay any debt presented once you verify its accuracy. If the estate does not have adequate assets, you cannot complete this action. In this instance, a judge may have to step in and decide which creditors get paid first. Usually, those with judgments or collateral, such as homes and vehicles, are at the top of the list.
Probate may prove daunting in the wake of someone’s death. It may help to enlist someone with experience and knowledge in probate and creditor claims.