One of the most stressful parts of the probate process can be the handling of creditor claims. Knowing that someone else has a stake in the estate can be disheartening for family members and friends of the deceased. It is the responsibility of the personal representative to alert creditors when probate has begun. In the state of Minnesota, the personal representative must alert any known creditors as soon as possible. Additionally, contacting the Commissioner of Human Services is required.
While it may sound simple to contact creditors, the process can be a bit more complicated than simply letting them know that probate is occurring. The personal representative may be blindsided by creditors that he or she was unaware of based on the records made available by the decedent. After filing for probate, the representative must place a notice of probate in a legal newspaper that is published in the county where probate has been filed.
Creditors must make claims against an estate within an allotted amount of time. Failure to produce a claim in a timely fashion can lead to that claim being dismissed by the personal representative. Time limits for creditor claims vary by case, so it is important to consult with a qualified probate attorney.
A personal representative should keep very careful records of all creditor claims that are filed. In the event that the personal representative is disputing a claim, a notice of dismissal must be presented within two months. All credit claims must be handled in a timely and appropriate fashion before an estate can be settled.
This means that each claim must be dismissed, settled, or paid for in full. If a personal representative does not properly address a creditor’s claim, then he or she may be personally responsible for settling that debt.
If you are going through the probate process in Minnesota, our attorneys are here to help. Whether you need help with creditor claims, or any other stage in the proceedings, our experienced lawyers will guide you through probate and make sure you close the estate on time. Contact the Brown Law Offices, P.A. at 763-323-6555 for a free consultation.
Find out more about probate in Minnesota by reading Probate Process Step 5: Property Valuation