An essential part of New York’s probate administration process is the orderly process of distributing the assets of the deceased to their proper heirs and beneficiaries. In the spirit of the old adage “you can’t take it with you,” many people want to know what happens to the debts they leave behind when they pass away.
Unfortunately, most debts survive a person’s death. After all, the money that’s owed on properties (such as a car or home) or certain services (i.e. internet or cell phone services) does not always go away simply because the owner is no longer living. As such, creditors commonly come calling for payment when they learn that a person passes away.
Like vultures looking for a meal, they may operate under the assumption that the person has a life insurance policy that could satisfy their debts, so they want to ensure that their claim is recognized by the court.
However, not every creditor’s claim is legitimate. But for executors and estate administrators, it is not so easy to know what to do. This is where an experienced probate administration attorney can be helpful. A skilled lawyer can complete the proper vetting of claims and defend against illegitimate or improper collection actions.
So if you have concerns about unsubstantiated claims, or how to accommodate payments for every creditor, having a conversation with a lawyer can help you rest easy knowing that the passing of your loved one’s estate will be completed in an orderly fashion.
The preceding is not legal advice.