When someone dies owing money to a creditor in Florida, the latter may file a creditor claim in court to pursue the due compensation of the debts owed by the decedent. If the creditor files a timely claim with valid legal grounds, a part of the decedent’s assets may be used to fulfill the owed amount.
Keep reading to check a full guide on creditor claims in Florida probate proceedings.
Creditor Claims In Florida Probate – An Introduction
Considered the traditional form of probate in Florida, formal administration applies to cases in which:
- The value of the decedent’s estate subject to probate exceeds $75,000
- The decedent has been dead for less than two years (except as provided by state law)
- One or more of the individuals interested in the estate do not agree to court procedures
- Part of the decedent’s assets remain unknown
- The decedent has debts that remain unpaid
In formal administration, the court will designate a personal representative to represent the deceased person and execute the estate subject to probate under the required statutory rules.
Among the most important duties of a personal representative, he or she must notify the creditors who may have claims against the estate, respond or object to claims based on their validity, and settle any outstanding debts before closing the estate.
Providing Due Notice
According to Florida Statutes §733.2121 (1), upon receipt of Letters of Administration, ” the personal representative shall promptly publish a notice to creditors.” The same statute specifies that “the notice shall contain:
- The name of the decedent
- The file number of the estate
- The designation and address of the court in which the proceedings are pending
- The name and address of the personal representative
- The name and address of the personal representative’s attorney, and
- The date of first publication”
Florida Statutes §733.2121 provides that the “publication shall be once a week for 2 consecutive weeks, in a newspaper published in the county where the estate is administered or, if there is no newspaper published in the county, in a newspaper of general circulation in that county.”
Filing a Claim Against Probate Estate
Under Florida Statutes §733.703, “a creditor shall file a written statement of the claim. No additional charge may be imposed by a claimant who files a claim against the estate.”
Within the preset statute of limitations, ” the personal representative may file a proof of claim of all claims he or she has paid or intends to pay. A claimant whose claim is listed in a personal representative’s proof of claim shall be deemed to have filed a statement of the claim listed.” (Fla. Stat. §733.703 (2))
The deadline to file a creditor claim within Florida probate is:
- 30 days upon receipt of Notice to Creditors
- Three months after the first publication of Notice to Creditors
- Two years counting from the decedent’s date of death (applicable only for known or reasonably ascertainable creditors who did not receive notice to creditors)
Please note that these preset deadlines may be broken down into other deadlines in situations involving known or reasonably ascertainable creditors and unknown creditors.
Responding to Creditors’ Claims
The personal representative must respond or object to any creditors’ claims against the estate he or she is administering.
As described by Florida Statutes §733.705, the personal representative must follow the required statutory proceedings to pay, settle, or object to any creditor’s claim filed against the decedent’s estate.
Creditor Claims In Florida Probate – Immediately Contact Your Florida Probate Lawyer
Dealing with creditors’ claims during probate proceedings requires a strategic approach. Call Attorneys Romy B. Jurado and Diana L. Collazos today at (305) 921-0976 or email [email protected] for expert legal guidance.