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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Prove It First

Sue, the executor of her dad Luke’s estate in the probate court, decided to deny the creditor claim filed by a fen shui/interior decorating consultant.  So far as Sue knows, the consultant only met once with her dad, and Luke told Sue that he wasn’t buying anything.

So Sue files written notice with the probate court that she is denying the $20,000 claim and sends a copy of it to the consultant.  Now the consultant has to prove her claim in court before Sue has to pay her.  Then either the consultant or Sue can make a motion to be heard by the court to decide.

To prove the claim, the consultant might be able to submit copies of order forms for custom-made furniture signed by Luke before his death.  At the hearing, the consultant presents her proof of the amount owed, and Sue presents what evidence she has, such as the fact that no furniture was ever delivered, to show that it is not owed. 

The judge rules on whether Luke’s estate has to pay the claim.  If the judge rules the estate does not have to pay, the consultant cannot take Sue to any other court to collect the money she says is owed, unless she appeals the probate court ruling directly.  And if the court rules the estate does have to pay, Sue will have to pay the bill before she can close the estate.

For advice on taking care of a deceased family member’s bills and assets, call our office at (815) 436-1996 for an appointment.  © 2014 Gruber Law Office, Ltd.


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