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What Obligations Are Owed to Creditors in an Estate Case?

May 28, 2021 by in Blog

After a Will is admitted to court after someone passes away, the probate administration process begins.  Probate is a court-supervised process that is used to determine who will inherit from a deceased person’s estate and to ensure that the decedent’s assets are distributed correctly to heirs according to the Will.  

The probate process can be lengthy and stressful, with duties owed to many individuals such as beneficiaries of the estate and creditors. If you have questions about what obligations are owed to creditors of your estate case, a Melbourne estate planning attorney at Lacey Lyons Rezanka can answer your questions.  A Melbourne estate planning attorney can also explain the probate process to you and walk you through the administration process every step of the way.

Estate Administration and Creditors

One important purpose of the estate administration process, also known as probate, is to ensure that the deceased individual’s debts are properly paid to creditors in an orderly fashion.  Once an estate case is opened and the Personal Representative is appointed, the Personal Representative must use diligent efforts to give actual notice of the estate case to creditors who are “known or reasonably ascertainable” creditors.  This notice gives creditors a reasonable opportunity to file claims in the deceased person’s probate case to recover the funds they are owed.  

When a creditor receives notice of a probate case, typically the creditors have three months to file a claim with the clerk of the court in the estate case.  The Personal Representative of the case may file an objection to the creditor’s claim when appropriate.  When an objection is filed, the creditor must then file an independent lawsuit to pursue the claim.  

If you have questions about claims filed by creditors in your estate case or claims that you think may be filed, contact an experienced Melbourne estate planning attorney who can help answer your questions and help you prepare your estate case for filing with the probate court.

Payment of Estate Expenses

Before the Personal Representative can close out an estate case and payout distributions to beneficiaries, the legitimate debts of the deceased individual (such as proper claims, taxes, and expenses of the administration) must be paid. 

How Can a Melbourne Estate Planning Attorney Help with Probate?

Complying with Florida’s probate law can be challenging especially if creditors file claims in the case and those claims are disputed.  An experienced Melbourne estate planning attorney can help explain Florida’s probate law to you, help you address creditor claims filed in your estate properly, and assist you with administering your estate case from the beginning of the end. 

Have Questions About Your Estate Case? If so, Contact a Melbourne Estate Planning Attorney Today 

Are you in the process or will begin the process of administering an estate? Do you have questions about obligations owed to creditors of the estate? If so, contact a Melbourne estate planning attorney at Lacey Lyons Rezanka today for assistance with your case.  Our legal team can answer any questions you may have related to the probate process.