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By: Scott Grossman on October 17th, 2016

California Probate: How Do You Notify Creditors?

Several hurdles must be cleared before the decedent’s estate can be distributed. These include appointing the executor or administrator and making an inventory and appraisal of the estate. Furthermore, the estate’s value can have debt.  Consequently, the successors don’t always know what amount of debt is owed. This is why, before going any further, the probate code requires you to notify creditors and deal with creditor claims.

Notify Creditors: Requirements

Newspaper publication:
The California probate code requires three separate publications in certain newspapers and within certain time limits. In many cases, the newspaper can be a free weekly advertising publication, and proof of publication must be filed with the court.

Specific creditors:
In the case of known or reasonably ascertainable creditors, the personal representative must give notice directly to the creditors before:
a) Two months after the date of issuance of the letters appointing the representative, or
b) Thirty days after the representative first becomes aware of the creditor, whichever is later.

One way to know of the creditor’s existence is if a demand or reminder of payment has been received from this creditor, and all notices should be filed with the court with proof of service.

There is a time limit for creditors to file a claim. If a claim is filed later than a specific time frame then it’s barred. The two time periods are as follows:
a) Four months after the date of issuance of the letters appointing the representative, or b) Sixty days after the date a specific notice was given to that creditor. Whichever is earlier.

Finally, creditors must file their claim with the court and serve a copy to the personal representative.

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