The probate estate is open and you are a creditor or personal representative who has to deal with the creditor. In Michigan, as part of the probate administration process, a notice to creditors is sent out, and the creditors have a claim period which lasts four months.

Creditors are individuals or entities that the estate may owe money to. Because of this, they are a liability of the probate estate, which can also be considered as an expense. Creditors are entitled to notice in two ways.

The first way is a notice to any known creditors. These are creditors that have to be reasonably identified by a personal representative by reviewing mail or having general knowledge of the debts of the decedent. These individuals and entities are entitled to notice of decedent’s passing.

While there may be known creditors, there may be creditors not known. That’s when the second way of notice is executed, that being a publication of notice to creditors. This is done through a legal newspaper or publication. These publications of notice will allow any unknown creditor to collect the debts owed to them. These could be things such as Visa bills or medical bills. By providing proper notice to creditors, you absolve yourself of any liability if you distribute the estate. That’s why following these steps is so critical in your role as personal representative.

Darren Findling of The Probate Pro provides guidance on filling out the publication of notice form, statement and proof of claim form and notice of disallowance of claim form.

To understand your state’s creditor statutes, you’ll need to make a full review of your sate’s statute. If you’re in the State of Michigan or Illinois, The Probate Pro can help you understand your State’s creditor claim statutes. If you want to learn more on this, or learn more about the probate process, contact us at (877) YOUR-FIRM.