Dallas Probate Attorneys Dealing With Claims Of Creditors
A third party to whom the deceased owed a debt prior to their death may become a creditor of their estate. In general, creditors are entitled to payment of surviving debts out of the proceeds of the estate. Dealing with the claims of creditors is crucial. If these claims are not handled in the proper fashion then the probate may be delayed. Even worse is the fact that there may be consequences for the executor or administrator of the estate. Avoiding these consequences is crucial. Retaining a probate attorney to assist with handling the estate will help to ensure that all the requirements are met, that the process goes as smoothly as possible, and that assets go where they belong – to the heirs. Our Dallas attorneys service the greater DFW Metroplex area.
Dallas attorneys helping Texas probate executors deal with creditors
Part of every probate process includes identifying the decedent’s assets and debts. The purpose of this is to ensure that debts that the decedent owed at the time of their death are paid through the assets left in the estate. Obligations such as mortgage loans, car loans, court judgments, tax debts, and others must be included in the executor’s inventory of debts presented to the Court. After the creditors have received payment, the remaining assets are distributed to the heirs, either pursuant to the terms of a last will and testament or in accordance with Texas law. If the debts exceed the decedent’s assets, there may not be anything remaining to distribute amongst the heirs, however creditors will not have a personal claim to collect debts against the heirs or executor.
The probate process has a system in place to ensure that creditors are paid. A notice of the probate must be provided to secured creditors (such as those holding a mortgage or an auto loan). While a notice to unsecured creditors is not required, a notice may be given. This is referred to as a “permissive notice” and can serve to close out the claims of unsecured creditors much earlier than would otherwise be the case. The executor can challenge whether or not debts should be paid from the estate. Depending upon the complexity of the estate, the value of the assets, and the types and amount of debts involved, this process can be challenging. Disputes with creditors can delay the final resolution of the estate but may be necessary to maximize the distributions to heirs. An executor who fails to follow these procedures regarding creditors can face personal liability. This responsibility, and the possible consequences, means that the assistance of an attorney is necessary.
Our Dallas probate lawyers will assist in ensuring that all legal requirements are met when dealing with creditors. At your initial consultation we will work to identify the decedent’s creditors. In addition to sending out proper notices, we will work with the personal representative to determine which debts may be challenged and will assist in bringing such disputes before the Probate Judge. We do so in an effort to make sure that an estate’s assets end up where they belong – with the heirs. We make probate our business so you can focus on the business of your life and family. Our firm also serves Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Denton, Fort Worth, Garland, Irving, Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Nacogdoches, Lufkin, and Center, Texas. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.
Texas lawyers taking a team-based approach to dealing with the creditors of an estate during the probate process
Our attorneys believe in a collaborative and team-based approach to solving problems. Price L. Johnson is a Certified Public Accountant as well as a lawyer. He and our associates will take the necessary steps in evaluating all claims of creditors and will give the estate’s personal representative an honest assessment of which claims can be challenged and which ones cannot. We will stay in regular communication with you throughout the process. We promptly respond to emails and phone calls and will meet with our clients as often as is necessary. We have achieved a proven track record of success for which we are proud. Contact us online or by telephone today.