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Metz, Bailey & McLoughlin, LLP provides
customized estate planning, probate,
and business law services to clients
throughout Central Ohio

Attorneys For Today,
Counselors For Life

Metz . Bailey . McLoughlin

CALL FOR AN ATTORNEY

    614-423-4619

Attorneys For Today,
Counselors For Life

Attorneys For Today,
Counselors For Life

Metz, Bailey & McLoughlin, LLP provides
customized estate planning and
business law services to clients
throughout Ohio

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What executors should know about settling estates with creditors

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2024 | probate & estate administration | 0 comments

Being named the executor of an estate is a big responsibility. One of the most important tasks you’ll face is dealing with the deceased’s creditors, which are people or businesses to whom money is owed. 

Understanding how to handle creditors will help you fulfill your role as an executor.

Identify and notify creditors

The first step is to identify all the creditors of the estate. You can do this by reviewing the deceased’s financial records, such as bank statements and credit card bills. You should also notify known creditors, like banks, credit card companies, and utility companies, about the death of the deceased.

Be aware of deadlines

Ohio law grants creditors six months from the date of the death of the decedent to submit a claim against the estate. If a creditor fails to file a claim within this timeframe, they generally lose the right to collect from the estate’s assets. It’s your responsibility as executor to be aware of this deadline and notify creditors of it through the published notice.

Evaluate assets and debts

Once you have identified the creditors, you need to determine the value of the estate’s assets, such as cash, property, and investments. This will help you understand how much money is available to pay off the debts.  Some debts, like funeral expenses and certain taxes, typically have priority and must be paid before other debts.

Working with creditors

You may be able to negotiate with creditors to settle the debts for less than the full amount owed. This can be especially helpful if the estate doesn’t have enough assets to cover all the debts.  It’s important to keep clear records of all your communications with creditors.

Seek professional help

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the process of dealing with creditors, don’t hesitate to seek professional help from an attorney or accountant who works with estate law. They can guide you through the process and ensure that you are following all the legal requirements.

Settling the estate smoothly

By understanding your responsibilities and taking the necessary steps, you can effectively deal with creditors and settle the estate smoothly. Remember, clear communication and organization can ensure a less stressful process for everyone involved.

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