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Which creditors must you contact as representative of an estate?

On Behalf of | Jun 9, 2022 | Estate Administration |

Whether you volunteered to serve as the representative of someone’s estate years ago or the probate courts appointed you, all of the major responsibilities fall to you. A big part of estate administration involves fulfilling someone’s outstanding obligations after they die.

As the personal representative of someone’s estate, you don’t just hand out their property to their family members. You will also need to settle their accounts and resolve their debts. You will have to call some companies and send written notice to others so that they can settle their accounts and claim repayment from you or the probate courts.

What creditors will you need to notify about probate proceedings according to California law?

You must notify all known creditors

Every debt someone owes when they die is a debt with a valid claim against their estate. Even if you have to go through someone’s financial records and mail, you have an obligation to identify and notify their creditors about probate proceedings.

If they aren’t aware that someone died, they could fail to make an estate claim as allowed under the law. So long as you know about the creditor, you typically have to advise them of probate proceedings within four months of assuming the role of personal representative or within 30 days of learning about the debt. Those handling estate matters often publish notice in newspapers as well in case there are creditors that they do not know about and therefore cannot notify directly.

Ensuring that you fulfill all of your responsibilities as an executor during estate administration will limit any personal financial liability you incur due to your role.