Law Office of DeAnne E. Parker
Redding Probate, Trusts, Estate Planning And Business Attorney

Overview of creditor claims against an estate

When California residents think about a probate dispute, they may envision family members fighting with each other over who should take what of an estate. While intra-family quarrels are one type of probate issue, and the kind that tends to grab headlines, there are other cases in which litigation can develop after a person dies. For example, despite how much one may try to avoid it, most people may end up dying owing money to another party, be it an individual, a business or a government agency.

Moreover, there are some who will die with large but who may be exposed to legal liability, meaning another party had a right to sue the deceased person. For example, someone who dies behind the wheel in a car accident which also kills or injures other victims may well be at fault and owe compensation.

Like other states, California law provides for a process in which a deceased person's creditors can file claims against his or her estate. If the claim is not challenged, then the executor or personal representative must pay it before he or she distributes the estate to the heirs. In other words, every claim against an estate is less money in the pockets of a deceased's loved ones.

Would-be creditors of an estate do have to make sure that they follow the law and other rules that may apply to them. This includes filing a claim in a timely fashion. Moreover, just as in any other case, the creditor will have to establish that it is legally entitled to payment. An executor will have a right to challenge all or part of a claim and ask for hearing on the matter. Those in Redding or other parts of Northern California who have questions about probate claims should consider speaking to an experienced attorney.

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