Can creditors collect after your death? Must a will be probated? Can I do it with a lawyer? 35 Answers as of March 31, 2013

Can creditors collect after your death? Must a will be probated? Can I do it with a lawyer?

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LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT I LONG
LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT I LONG | Robert I. Long
In California, a will must be probated unless the probatable estate is small enough, under $150,000, to be distributed pursuant to a declaration procedure. The "probatable estate" does not include property held in joint tenancy or which passes to a designated beneficiary (e.g., life insurance) or pursuant to a "pay on death" arrangement with a financial institution. Probate is usually necessary when there is real property standing only in the name of the decedent. If probated, there is a creditor claim procedure which determines which, if any, creditors get paid and how much. Yes, it is common practice to have an attorney represent the personal representative and the estate in a probate case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/31/2013
Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
The will should be filed with the clerk?s office after death. If there are assets in the estate, a probate lawyer can help you file a probate proceeding. As part of the proceeding, creditors are notified and given a deadline to file a claim. The personal representative of the estate can object to claims, and the Judge will decide disputes. After claims have been decided and paid, distributions are made to the heirs.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 3/21/2013
Geoff Germane, Attorney at Law | Geoff Germane
Creditors can collect after a person's death-they generally must file a creditor's claim against the estate within a certain period of publication of a notice by the executor. Specific rules will apply to secured debts like home loans. A will does not necessarily have to be probated-if a person wants to begin the 90-day period in which a creditor must file a claim or lose the claim, the will must be probated and a personal representative/executor must be appointed. A lawyer is not necessary but can provide great value in the administration process. Kind regards, Geoff N. Germane
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 3/20/2013
The Krone Law Firm, LLC | Norman B. Krone
Yes, creditors are generally entitled to collect from the estate. A will should be probated to have it enforced and I recommend with the aid of an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 3/20/2013
Law Offices of Charles R. Perry
Law Offices of Charles R. Perry | Charles R. Perry
Creditors can and often do pursue the assets of the decedent in order to collect their debts. A will does not automatically need to be probated. Everything depends on the assets and debts of the person who passed away. Probate is often best accomplished with the assistance of a lawyer, to make sure all steps are followed, all debts are properly handled, and all assets of the estate are properly distributed.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/20/2013
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/20/2013
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
    In Maryland, yes, creditors can collect after one's death (though claims may be required to be timely filed), a will should be probated (though if there are no probate assets then there is nothing to probate), and one can use a lawyer to represent the estate or personal representative.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Edward L. Armstrong, P.C. | Edward L. Armstrong
    Yes, creditors can collect after a person's death(this is the simple answer). A will needs to be probated to give effect to it's terms. You should have your will prepared by an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Lampton Law Firm LLC | Norman Lampton
    This site is not a substitute for actual competent legal counsel!
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    The will must be probated with an attorney guiding the process. The first thing the court requires are payments to creditors
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
    Creditors can collect after your death. A will usually must be probated only if the estate subject to the will includes considerable real property or has a total gross value over $150,000. Yes, you can do it with a lawyer. Theoretically, you also can do it without a lawyer, but it is unwise.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    The Wideman Law Center, P.C. | Susan Wideman Schaible
    Creditors can collect from the probate estate of a deceased individual. A will does not have to be probated if the deceased individual left no assets in his or her name alone when they died (i.e. the assets were not jointly owned, did not have beneficiaries, or were not in a trust). A lawyer can help you with the estate administration.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    You are advised to seek probate counsel to assist you in the probate of the estate. Yes creditors can collect after death. Yes a will needs to be probated if there are assets in the estate; lastly, the will must be filed with the court within 30 days after death, in the county of the deceased principal residence.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC | Barry D. Broome
    Yes to all your questions. A will must be probated. In some circumstances debt can be avoided. A lawyer will help you through these issues.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    Yes, creditors can seek recovery from the decedent's estate. All will must be probated unless the estate is small and than an alternative can be used to deliver the property to the heirs. You can have counsel and in most cases, it is advisable to do so.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law | James Oberholtzer
    Yes, creditors can collect after your death. A Will does not have to be probated. Yes, you can use a lawyer. You can also try to do it without a lawyer; but, it is difficult.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    Yes, creditors can collect from your estate. A will must be submitted to the court for a probate procedure, or else it does nothing at all. It is best to use a lawyer, as there are many steps, many potential traps, and a huge learning-curve. The expenses of probate are charged to the estate.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Law Office of Edward M. Burgh, APC | Edward M. Burgh
    Yes, creditors can collect after your death, if they meet the deadlines in the Probate Code. A Will must be produced if the Deceased signed one. You are best to do it with a lawyer that has experience with the Probate Court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Dennis E. Valentine Law Firm
    Dennis E. Valentine Law Firm | Dennis Valentine
    Creditors can collect from an estate of the person after the person's death. All wills must be filed (lodged) with the court in the county where the person lived at the time of the person's death. However, estates without real estate and having less then $63,000 in probate property do not normally have to go through probate. Even when probate is required, the process does not normally require any court hearings. A person does not have to use a lawyer. A lawyer can be helpful with any estate, but a lawyer is probably only required when the estate assets or debts are larger or complex, there are disputes among the heirs or beneficiaries, or there are other complications. Sometimes, an hour or two spent with a lawyer will help greatly with minimal legal expense.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    Yes, your estate would be liable to your creditors. A will does not have to be probated if your estate is less than $150,000. However, a small estate probate may be required to move money from bank accounts. I recommend you consult an attorney for any estate planning needs. You want to make sure it is done correctly or it will cost more in the end.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    Yes, creditors are entitled to be paid. They are a higher priority than beneficiaries. A Will must be lodged with the District Court within 30 days of death in Nevada. If there are assets that do not have a joint tenant or a death beneficiary, they must be probated. An attorney may assist you or you may try to do it on your own.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Randy M. Lish, Attorney at Law | Randy M. Lish
    I believe that all states have statutes that govern the priority of creditors of an estate. Generally, the assets left behind must be used to pay off creditors, and then distributions made to heirs. In order to prove a will valid, it must be probated, and a good probate can help a lot. If you have specific questions, you need to see a probate lawyer who practices in the state where the deceased resided at the time of death.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    Creditors can collect from the estate. Depending on whether there is a community property agreement, an estate worth more than $100,000 or has real property, must probate the estate to make distribution to the beneficiaries. The creditors must be paid off before distribution. Any probate attorney can assist you.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    Creditors can collect from the estate of the deceased person or anyone else who was liable for the debt. A will is usually probated because that it how it becomes effective. Occasionally there are no assets to probate and it is not probated. You can use an attorney to probate a will.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    Yes creditors can collect after death. A will needs to be probated if there are sufficient assets to submit the estate to probate. In California that is $150,000 or more in gross assets. Another benefit to submitting an estate to probate is that it limits creditor's to 4 months in order to make a claim against the estate as long as they are given proper notice. I recommend probate be done through a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    Yes, creditors can collect whats due from any assets of the estate that arent subject to a lien or other legal claim. Wills dont have to be probated if the debts and assets are minimal (check your state statutes). And it is a good idea to have a lawyer help settle an estate as there are several laws that must be observed at every step.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Reger Rizzo & Darnall LLP | Kathleen DeLacy
    Creditors can file a claim against the estate. A will should be filed but unless enough assets no need for probate. Yes you can do it with a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    Yes, creditors can pursue claims after you die against your estate. No, not all Wills require probate, but all must be filed with the Court. Yes, you can work with an attorney on estate questions, make sure the attorney specializes in estate matters.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Generally the debts of the deceased party are paid out of the estate assets which normally involves a probate. Therefore, you should at least counsel with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Stone|Novasky, LLC
    Stone|Novasky, LLC | Robert Novasky
    Yes, creditors can collect from your estate after your death. If you have any assets at the time of your death, creditors must be given an opportunity to submit claims to the estate and must be paid before your assets can be distributed to your beneficiaries. There are certain limited circumstances in which probate is not necessary (community property agreement signed by both spouses, decedent had no real property and assets less than a certain amount), but generally probate is a prudent and necessary process to carry out the provisions of the will and close the estate. Probate is usually done with the assistance of an attorney, by filing the necessary petition with the court, posting public notice of the probate, contacting known creditors and beneficiaries, etc. There are certain statutory requirements that must be fulfilled as part of the probate process, so that the estate can be properly handled and closed by the court.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Scott Polsky
    Scott Polsky | Scott Polsky
    Yes to all three questions.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Estrada Law P.C. | Michele Ungvarsky
    Yes, in most cases creditors can collect after death. It is wise to verify any demands prior to payment. Yes, a will should be probated. Yes, a lawyer will help you with the process of probate.
    Answer Applies to: New Mexico
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Winnick Ruben Hoffnung Peabody & Mendel, LLC | Daniel N. Hoffnung
    Yes If estate is over $50,000 or has real property Yes
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Law Offices of R. Christine Brown | R. Christine Brown
    If you owe debts at the time of your death, your creditors are entitled to be repaid for those debts. The creditors can collect from your estate (recovery is limited to the assets in your estate). The probate code in California has a hierarchy setting forth which creditors get paid and in which order. Creditors are paid before your estate is transferred/distributed to your beneficiaries/heirs. A will must be probated in California if your gross estate is more than $150,000. Even if the estate does not have to be probated, the personal representative (Executor/Administrator) must make sure that your debts are paid before your estate is distributed to your beneficiaries/heirs. You can probate an estate with the assistance/representation of an attorney. This may be best especially if there are creditors of the estate or there are insufficient assets in the estate to repay all the creditors.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Roman Aminov
    Roman Aminov | Roman Aminov
    The answers depend on too many factors to list. You should speak to an attorney about your individual situation. Many, including myself, offer a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/19/2013
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