How do you handle creditor claims?

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2022 | Probate And Estate Administration |

When a person passes away still owing money, how do you handle that? Personal representatives of the decedent’s estate must be the ones to take care of such matters.

In most cases, beneficiaries do not receive their portion of the estate until after debtors get their payments, making it a crucial part of handling the estate as a whole.

Giving creditors a head’s up

The Pennsylvania General Assembly discusses how to deal with creditor claims against an estate. First, personal representatives need to give these creditors the chance to step forward in the first place. You can do so by publishing a notice about the estate administration in local newspapers. Executors also need to notify creditors that they are aware of.

Creditors then have a year after the first publication date to make their claim. If they fail to do so, they may only be able to recover assets not distributed before getting the claim notice.

Handling a creditor claim

Creditors can file with the Register of Wills, or they may write a personal note to you as the estate representative. You must then pay the claim and distribute the remaining funds among the beneficiaries.

An estate is insolvent in the event that there are not enough assets to repay a debt. In such a case, you should repay creditor claims in order until the assets are gone.

Dealing with matters of assets and estates can serve as a major complicated task to tackle. For that reason, you may want legal help as you work through the process.