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Creditor Claims

There are many different Pennsylvania probate statutes that explain what a personal representative must know when it comes to fiduciaries. A creditor claims probate lawyer in Pennsylvania can assist you if you've already been appointed as a personal representative.

If you don’t understand creditor claims and how these could be used to significantly diminish the overall value of an estate, you could end up making a mistake with your own planning that could leave behind a mess for your loved ones. These kinds of errors often end up as probate litigation.

A creditor claims probate attorney in Pennsylvania is a great advocate to turn to during times of questioning your role. Fiduciaries are not required to send notice of administration to decedent’s creditors in the state of Pennsylvania. The personal representative, however, must publish the notice of estate administration in a newspaper.

Creditors have a maximum of one year from the time of publication in order to recover claims against that personal representative. After this one-year period has passed, the creditor is only able to obtain those estate assets that were not distributed prior to getting notice of the claim as outlined under 20 Pa. C.S. 3532.

Furthermore, creditors have the option of lodging a claim against the estate with the court. A creditor could even file a claim against an estate prior to the filing of the grant of letters. You must file out a form and submit it to the register to make the claim official. If the claim is filed by a creditor with the court, their right to proceed is preserved against what is known as the distributee or who receives assets from the estate only if the real property is considered an estate asset.

The claim is avoided if it is not paid by the personal representative or the claim was filed by the creditor within one year of the decedent's death. This is outlined under 20 Pa. C.S. 3532b. Outside of liens existing when a person dies, those claims against an estate are unenforceable against whoever purchases the real property from the beneficiaries of the heirs if the purchase was made more than one year following the death of the decedent and if the grant of letters is not in effect.

Liens are also not enforceable if no grant of letters occurred and it is during the year following the death as outlined under 20 Pa. C.S. 3385. In an instance when no real property exists at the current time in the estate or if the creditor is not concerned with preserving the right to proceed in a case against the real property’s distributees, the creditor can give a notice in writing of their claim. This can be given to the personal representative's attorney or to the personal representative directly prior to the time when the statute of limitations would expire. Knowing these rules can be difficult if you don’t have an attorny’s help.

If the creditor brings forth a claim to the attorney or listed personal representative, that representative can pay it if the claim is determined to be valid. The creditor’s claim must be paid completely or the personal representative can file a formal procedure. The court will consider the claim during the estate audit. If the personal representative does not file a formal procedure, then the creditor can take action against the estate’s personal representative or the aforementioned distributees. Scheduling a consultation with a knowledgeable Pennsylvania creditor claims probate lawyer is strongly recommended for anyone who has further questions about this process

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