Collecting a debt payment from the estate of a debtor

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2023 | Creditors' Rights |

Someone who owes you money may have died before you can collect on the debt. However, your claim on the unpaid amount does not die as well. Under Ohio law, there are procedures in place to help creditors claim their debts from the estate of a debtor.

The process of collecting debt from an estate may become complicated depending on the circumstances. Nonetheless, there are ways to exercise your rights to seek payment from an estate.

Preparing a claim

Be aware that you may have to provide written evidence of your debt to the executor of the estate or its administrator. Also, you will likely have to submit an affidavit.

The affidavit will contain a variety of information. It should state that no other parties that you know of have counterclaims against your debt and that your debt has received no payments on it. Depending on the nature of your claim, you may also have to describe any securities you hold on the debt or facts about a related lawsuit.

Dealing with a dispute

In the event the estate administrator or executor questions the validity of your claim, you may have to pursue payment from the estate through legal proceedings. Under state law, the head of the estate may sign an agreement with you to allow three neutral referees selected by a probate judge to hear your dispute and report to the court.

A variety of outcomes could result. A court may confirm the report and award you the debt payment, but a judge might also set the report aside and appoint different referees to handle your dispute. Given that a probate dispute is hard to predict, it is important to know your options as early as possible.

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