Creditor Claims on the Estate
Helping You Leave a Legacy After You Are Gone
When we pass away, our debts do not magically disappear. At The Dorcey
Law Firm, PLC, we understand that you want to have a solvent estate when
you pass, this way after obligations are paid, you have enough left over
to leave an inheritance to your loved ones or favorite charities.
If leaving behind a legacy is important to you, you can turn to our
Fort Myers estate planning attorneys for help turning this goal into a reality. Over our years in practice,
we have helped people from all walks of life build a lasting legacy for
generations to come and we can help you too!
Is my estate obligated to pay creditors?
One of the core purposes of
probate is to ensure that a decedent's creditors are paid in an orderly fashion.
The personal representative must give notice of the probate proceeding
to all known or reasonably ascertainable creditors.
By giving notice, the creditors have the opportunity to file claims against
the decedent's estate. In Florida, creditors who have received notice
of probate have approximately three months to file a claim with the clerk
of the circuit court; however, the personal representative or any of the
beneficiaries have a right to file an objection to the claim.
If an objection is filed, then the creditor making the claim must file
a separate and independent lawsuit to pursue their claim.
Who gets priority?
It is important to note that the legitimate debts of the decedent such as:
- Proper claims;
- Taxes; and
- Administration expenses of the estate must be paid before any distributions
are made to the beneficiaries.
The personal representative is required by the court to file a report and
advise of any claims filed against the probate estate. The court will
not permit a probate estate to be closed until such claims have been paid
or otherwise disposed of.
Will my estate have to pay my business debts?
Whether or not your estate is obligated to pay your business debts depends
on your business structure. For example, if you own a sole proprietorship,
you alone are responsible for your company's assets and liabilities.
On the other hand, if you incurred debt through an LLC, your personal
assets are usually exempt.
Speak With a Fort Myers Probate Lawyer
Unfortunately, if you leave behind an insolvent estate your beneficiaries
will get nothing, but the good news is that your heirs won't be responsible
for paying the balance of your unpaid debts, the creditors will simply
have to write off the bad debt.
Whether you need information about creditor claims in regards to estate
planning or probate, we invite you to
contact our firm to schedule a free consultation. We know the ins and outs of probate law
and would love to help you so you leave behind a solvent estate.