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Probate & Trust Administration

Probate & Trust Administration
Creditor Claims on the Estate
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Fort Myers Estate Planning Lawyer

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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.

dorcey law firm
The Dorcey Law Firm, PLC - Fort Myers Attorney
Located at 10181 Six Mile Cypress Pkwy, Suite C, Fort Myers, FL 33966
Phone: (239) 330-6674
Local Phone: (239) 418-0169