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Probate

Probate and Creditors

When a person dies and leaves a will, the probate process is designed to settle their financial affairs and to distribute their property as laid out in the will. A decedent may carry many types of debts upon passing, such as medical bills, utility bills, credit card bills, complex loans, and secured loans like a car loan or mortgage. A person’s debts do not disappear when they pass away. Rather, creditors have a right to seek payment of their debts from the decedent’s estate.

Notification to Creditors

Creditors want to maximize what they recover and have several ways to try to recoup what they’re owed. For example, a creditor has a right to initiate probate proceedings to administer the estate. However, this is uncommon and it is highly unusual for a creditor to succeed in becoming the personal representative or administrator of the estate since priority goes to family members to this capacity.

It is far more common for creditors to become involved in pending probate proceedings. Under Nevada’s probate laws, the personal representative (or executor) is obligated to send notice to all of the decedent’s creditors that inform the creditors of their appointment as personal representative and of their right to file a claim against the estate.

One of the critical duties of a personal representative is to conduct a thorough search for creditors. Failure to do so can invite unwanted challenges later. Creditors that are known to the personal representative must be sent their notice by mail. This starts the clock from which noticed creditors have 60 to 90 days to file a claim, depending on the value of the estate.

To further close the door to future challenges, a personal representative can also send notice to unknown creditors—or creditors who have yet to be discovered despite the diligent efforts of the personal representative. This notice must be served by publication in a newspaper in the county of the probate proceedings.

Probate Lawyers at Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P.

If a loved one has died and you need help with probate proceedings, contact Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman, L.L.P. Our attorneys are compassionate, professional, and proven. We know what you are going through and that you need a prompt and efficient settlement of your loved one’s estate. We offer advice and representation. Call Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. today at (775) 227-2280 to schedule a consultation or contact our office through our website.

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