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Collecting Outstanding Debts During Probate


The only thing more annoying than debt is all the picky rules that relate to seeking payment of debts.  Debt collectors can contact you on social media, but only if the messages are not visible to others in your contacts and only if the debt collectors are transparent about their purposes; by this logic, a debt collection notice is preferable to other types of social media communications, such as invitations by long-lost classmates to join multi-level marketing “business opportunities” and semi-coherent political screeds by people who are more closely related to you than you would like to admit to everyone who can see the message.  The statute of limitations resets every time you make a partial payment on a debt or even promise to pay.  Debts may or may not disappear from your credit report after you pay them.  If you think it is frustrating and confusing to pay debts you owe, wait until you try to collect debts that other people owe to you.  Most individuals do not often find themselves in this position; it is usually businesses that spend their time chasing down people that owe them money.  If you are the personal representative of a deceased person’s estate, however, you may find yourself in the unenviable position of trying to collect money that people owed to the decedent.  For help navigating this and the other duties you must fulfill as the personal representative of an estate, contact a Washington, D.C. probate lawyer.

If You Can’t Take It With You When You Die, Should the Personal Representative Bother Seeking Repayment?

Responsibility for all of the decedent’s unfinished financial business falls to the personal representative of the estate.  It is the personal representative’s duty to contact known creditors to whom the decedent owed money and to repay or settle those debts to whatever extent the resources of the estate allow.  If other parties owed money to the decedent when he or she died, the personal representative must also contact those debtors and attempt to collect the debts or settle them for a lower amount.

Chasing down unpaid debts costs time and money.  It is bad enough when you are the one who is hurting financially because these debts have gone unpaid, but it is even worse when the impetus to collect the debts is that the beneficiaries of the estate are mad at you about the fact that it is taking so long to get their inheritance.  In the most complicated cases, you must file a lawsuit against the debtor to collect the outstanding debt.  If the value of the estate is substantial but the decedent was involved in lots of financial entanglements at the time of death, it is best to work with a probate lawyer.

Contact Tobin O’Connor Ewing About the Hassles of Probate

A Washington, D.C. probate attorney can help you resolve the debts owed by the estate you are representing, as well as the debts owed to it.  Contact Tobin, O’Connor, and Ewing in Washington, D.C. or call 202-362-5900.



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