When someone dies and owes debts, the process for a creditor of the decedent to be paid is to file a claim with the personal representative of the probate estate.
The purpose of a claim in a probate is to allow the personal representative to determine if the claim is a valid debt, to approve the claim if it is, then after the approval of the judge, to pay, and settle all claims against the decedent and his/her estate.
But the rules of statutory law must be followed. Both the personal representative and the claimant must strictly comply with the statutory procedures.
A claimant who fails to present their claim to the personal representative in a timely manner will not be paid. It is not sufficient for the claimant to file the claim with the court clerk. Or to mail the claim to the personal representative. It must be delivered or mailed to the attorney for the personal representative. The notice to creditors explains that the claim must be submitted to the attorney for the personal representative before the date specified or it is forever barred as a matter of law. The creditor’s claim must be signed and notarized with supporting documents attached. The personal representative then must follow the statutory procedures for allowing or rejecting the creditor’s claim. A creditor unhappy with the result, may file a petition in the probate court for a trial on their claim. If the creditor should win, their claim will be approved.
Claims are not filed with a living trust. A living trust properly prepared and funded will avoid probate. An experienced probate and living trust attorney, like Brent D. Coldiron, knows what to do. His fees are reasonable. Contact Brent at (405) 478-5655 or 737-2244. His website is http://coldironlaw.com.