One important question executors might have in administering an estate is whether creditors can have claims satisfied by bringing lawsuits against the estate. After all, many people in this position may be confused about whether they could be personally held liable as the administrator of the estate, or whether a creditor may have a legitimate claim against the estate at all.
Under Colorado law, a creditor may bring suit against a deceased person’s estate to satisfy unpaid bills and judgments. Essentially, the probate process is meant to facilitate the orderly transfer of assets from the deceased to his or her heirs. As part of that process, creditors are allowed to stake their claims and even bring lawsuits to enforce an outstanding judgment.
So as the old adage suggests, since the deceased can’t take their assets with them into the afterlife, an executor can expect claims to be brought from creditors for unpaid utility bills, credit card payments, mortgage payments and other debts.
In the event that this happens, an executor could benefit from the advice and assistance of an experienced probate attorney. A seasoned lawyer can advise on whether the debts are eligible to be collected. After all, some debts may be beyond the statute of limitations under Colorado law, and thus may not be legally eligible to be collected. For instance, a judgment that had not been collected in the ten years since it had been established may not necessarily be collected through probate.
If you have additional questions about satisfying creditor claims in probate, an attorney can help.