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By: Scott Grossman on September 15th, 2016

Creditors May Want to Get Involved in the Distribution of a California Estate

Involvement of Creditors

At first, the list of property left by the deceased may look substantial, and requires effort in managing the distribution. Part of this process is the involvement of Creditors and there are methods of how creditors should be notified.

Yet, California probate law will require the personal representative to finalize the Inventory and Appraisal Form (the detailed list of the decedent’s property). This will allow them to find out how much the deceased owed to creditors at the time of their death. Then, once all creditors’ claims are known, the value of the estate will truly be appreciated.

Creditors’ Claims

At the very start of the California probate process, the Notice of Petition to Administer Estate is published in local newspapers and is the first indication to creditors that they should come forward with their claim. The representative makes an inventory of all the decedent’s assets. This must be no later than four months from the date that they issue the Letters Testamentary. The personal representative then sends a Notice of Administration to Creditors to every known or suspected creditor to advise them how and where to file a claim.

If the personal representative has requested authority to administer the estate under the Independent Administration of Estates Act, he or she may make all the decisions regarding the payment of outstanding debts without court supervision.

Expenses and obligations that arose after the decedent’s death do not require formal claims by creditors. This is also the case for tax bills, mortgage loan debts, or debts that show evidence of bills or invoices. All of which are in possession of the personal representative.

Claims from a creditor reduce the net value of the estate. It is, therefore, crucial for the personal representative to find out all known and potential creditors that might have a claim against the estate. They do this by searching through the decedent’s records and files looking for statements of accounts, correspondence, and other documents.


If you are ready to start your case, then please give us a call or fill out our Get Help Now form. A comprehensive overview of California Probate is available here. Should you have additional questions about trust litigation, you will find plenty of useful information in our Learning Center.