When you serve as the executor of the estate, one of your tasks is to pay the debts of the deceased. You may not always know the fine details of your loved one’s finances, but there are several steps that you can take to handle these debts.
You typically have to put out a public notice of your loved one’s death. The Ohio Legislature says that this allows creditors to bring their claims to the probate court. Creditors usually have to submit their claims within six months of your loved one’s death. After this, the debts are no longer valid.
How will creditors get in contact with you?
You may hear from creditors in several different ways. Someone may mail a request for payment to your loved one’s home and you may open it and read it. Additionally, a creditor may write to you and explain the nature of the debt. Finally, a creditor may go to the probate court and file a copy of the claim.
How do you handle the claims?
Once you know the claims against the estate, you usually work with the probate court. According to the Ohio Legislature, the probate court sets a date to evaluate the debt. You may then need to notify the relevant creditors and beneficiaries of the court date so that they can attend.
During the hearing, the creditors typically provide evidence about the nature of the debt. Once they understand all the details, a probate court usually decides whether the estate has to pay the claim. If the court does not rule in favor of the creditors, the executor is not legally obligated to repay the debt.
You may not need to work with the probate court for every debt that your loved one incurred. Many probate courts do not evaluate claims worth less than $500.