Can I File a Claim on a Deceased Debtor’s Estate?
When an individual who owes you money dies, you should follow up for collection. You do this by filing a proof of claim with the person’s probate estate in the probate court of the county where the debtor resided. Check with the probate court where the estate was filed, as it may have a standard claim form for creditor’s claims.
Conventional pre-and post-judgment remedies are no longer effective after a debtor dies. For example, if you garnished a bank account or the income of your debtor who died, your garnishment will become ineffective because the assets have either passed to an heir (done automatically with joint accounts) or the probate court now has all the assets. Assets pass to heirs or the probate court upon death.
As a part of the probate process, the estate’s administrator will propose a distribution of the deceased’s assets. If the estate has enough money to pay you in full, great! If not, you’ll have to decide if you want to try to challenge the proposed distribution to get more money or write off the additional balance owed.
Filing a proof of claim or opening a probate estate only applies to individual debtors. Corporations, limited partnerships, LLCs and other business entities live on after the death of their owners.
Have Questions? We Specialize in Debt Collection!
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Since 1961, our top-rated lawyers have been dedicated to professionally and aggressively pursuing the money you’re owed in a straightforward, ethical manner. With offices in Birmingham and Grand Rapids, we handle claims against debtors located in Michigan, even if you are located out of state or out of the country.
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If you’re a business owner, you should be spending your time conducting business rather than chasing down debts. Contact an experienced attorney for debt collection in Michigan today at (248) 645-2440 for a resolution to your collection matters. Let the experts worry so you have more time to focus on growing your business.