After a loved one dies in Texas, a personal representative or executor typically takes over to ensure that the estate is properly attended to. This individual often sees the estate go through the probate process and has many responsibilities and tasks to carry out. One of those duties may relate to attending to any debts and creditor claims that individuals and entities may pursue against the estate.
Creditors only have a certain amount of time in which they can file a claim against the estate. This action generally occurs after the probate proceedings have been opened and publicly announced. If a person or entity wishes to receive payment for an outstanding debt, they need to make a Statement of Claim, which includes the basis of the claim, the claimant's personal information, amount of the claim and other pertinent details.
If the creditor does not make a Statement of Claim with the proper information, the executor may not have to address the claim. However, a valid Statement of Claim must be attended to, and the executor could take various courses of action. Those actions include paying the entirety or a portion of the claim, not paying the claim or having an objection to the claim.
Dealing with creditors of ones' own can prove difficult, and when an executor must attend to a deceased individual's debts, it can seem even more daunting. Handling debts is only one part of the probate process, and if parties feel overwhelmed by their prospective duties, they may wish to gain assistance. Speaking with knowledgeable Texas attorneys could help concerned parties better understand how to handle their responsibilities as executors.
Source: theledger.com, "What if a deceased person owes you money?", Kevin Albaum, Dec. 13, 2017