California has procedures for filing creditors’ claims in a probate estate. There is a time limitation under which a creditor claim must be filed and the courts are very ready to bar a claim not properly filed within the time set by law.
What is generally required is that every claim filed must be in writing and state sufficient information to notify the representative of the nature of the claim or other relief sought.
Claims that don’t comply with the statutory procedure may very well be dismissed outright by the court.
Challenging Credit Card Claims
One of the most overlooked and least understood issues is the topic of unsecured claims in an estate. In particular credit card claims should be reviewed for complete and certain information evidencing that they are truly the obligations of the decedent.
Challenging Contractual Claims
California executors should also examine whether the claim is unenforceable as a matter of law as it may be too indefinite, uncertain, or contractually deficient to be upheld by a probate court.
As a general rule, death alone does not necessarily discharge contractual obligations. Many contractual obligations survive the death of one party or another whether by the terms of the contract or the nature of the contract.
Contracts that can be enforced by a creditor also may include contracts for the sale of goods.
However, personal service contracts may in fact be one of the many exceptions to the rule that death does not terminate a contract.
Challenging Mortgage Claims
Just as important, a claim on the property may be satisfied by turning over the secured property to the creditor in full satisfaction of the claim if declining values in real estate make that option a reality.
Speak with a qualified California probate attorney. Call Mitchell A. Port at (310) 559-5259 to discuss your probate questions.