Claims in Alexandria Probate

When a person dies and owes money, the party that is owed can file a claim against the estate. This is a declaration that the estate funds should be used to pay the debt. A well-versed attorney can further explain claims in Alexandria probate. With the help of a skilled probate attorney, you can make sure you are following the steps.

What is a Claim?

A claim is essentially a declaration that a creditor can make against an estate, stating that there is money owed to an entity that should be paid from the estate’s funds. When an estate is opened in Alexandria, there is a certain amount of time that a party has to make a claim against the estate. The claim is filed with the probate clerk and the court will determine whether it is an enforceable debt.

The executor or the administrator of the estate has the duty of ensuring that only the enforceable claims are paid from the estate’s funds. All enforceable debts and claims of the estate must be satisfied before the executor or the administrator makes any distribution to a beneficiary of the estate. This also includes the payment of taxes. If the executor or administrator fails to ensure that all valid claims and debts are satisfied prior to distributing estate funds, the executor or the administrator could be liable and could potentially be required to personally pay the claims.

Making a Claim in Alexandria

In Virginia, the executor or administrator of the estate is required to file a Notice of Probate within 30 days after they have been qualified. This notice will be mailed to the surviving spouse, all heirs-at-law, and all living and ascertainable beneficiaries.

At the end of the estate administration process, the executor or the administrator is responsible for submitting an accounting to the Commissioner of Accounts of the court. This is a notification that the estate is opened and that they will settle and eventually close the estate once the Commissioner of Accounts has approved it.

A hearing will be held and the Commissioner will publish a notice at least 10 days prior to the actual hearing date so that any claimants can come forward at that time. The executor or the administrator is required to give written notice to any known claimants prior to the hearing date. In other words, if they know that there is a creditor or a claimant who has already made a claim,  they have to give that person notice in addition to the surviving spouse, heirs-at-law, and the beneficiaries of the estate.

The Role of the Personal Representative

There are specific rules in place to determine how the estate assets will pay all of the debts. Personal property will be used first and then funds from the residuary estate. Next will be any general monetary request, then specific requests, and then the very last asset that would get applied would be real estate. If funds had been exhausted and the only thing remaining asset is real estate, then the executor or the administrator of the estate would have to look into a sale of the real estate.

Discuss Claims with an Alexandria Attorney

There are certain requirements for paying claims in Alexandria probate. Therefore, it is important to work with a knowledgeable attorney who can help guide you through the process. To learn more, call today for a consultation.