What Happens When a Creditor Files a Claim on Your Loved One’s Estate

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By: Bill Henry
PublishedSep 10, 2021
1 minute read

If your loved one has an open probate case, there is a chance a creditor could file a claim. Probate Attorney Tristan Younghaus explains what happens when a creditor files a claim against an estate.

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Call 303-688-0944 to schedule a case assessment or you can schedule online when you click here.

What to Do if a Creditor Makes a Large Claim on Your Loved One’s Estate

In Colorado, if your loved one’s estate goes into probate, the personal representative of that estate must give notice to known and unknown creditors.

If a creditor makes a claim on an estate within the time period, the personal representative will have to determine if it’s a legitimate claim. If the personal representative says the creditor’s claim is not legitimate, the creditor can request a hearing to determine the claim’s legitimacy. The court can order the claim to be paid if it is in fact legitimate.

Do All Creditors Have to Be Paid?

There actually is an order in which creditors are paid from someone’s estate. For example, claims are paid first on property held, possession of the decedent, administrative costs to administer the estate, funeral expenses, federal taxes, medical expenses, state taxes, and then Medicaid, child support obligations, and then all other claims.

So if there are multiple claims against the estate, debts must be paid in the order listed above.

What to Do if You Are Aware of Creditors

Another thing to consider, if there are known creditors on the estate, make sure to notice them. Providing the creditors notice shortens the time period in which they can make a claim.

Also, if you publish a notice in the paper, that shortens the time in which a creditor can claim from a year.

In Colorado, creditors normally can make a claim within a year of the death of the decedent, but publishing notice and giving notice to known creditors will shorten that time period.

Get Help with Probating an Estate

If you have questions about your loved one’s estate or your responsibilities as a personal representative let our Probate Law Team know. You can sit down with one of our probate lawyers for a case assessment to discuss your circumstances. Call 303-688-0944 to set up that appointment or click here.

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