Someone Owed Me Money, But Now They're Dead—What Can I Do?
You are able to enforce a claim against a deceased person's estate, but the time frame within which to do this is very limited and the procedures are very specific.
The first step in this analysis is to determine exactly who is liable, and whether any third parties are still liable. If you determine that it is the deceased person, then probate estate proceedings must be opened, regardless whether the estate is subject to small estate administration.
Once the estate proceedings are opened, you must file your claim through the use of a Creditor's Claim (DE-172). There are specific service requirements and time frames within which to serve the personal representative (Administrator or Executor) with the claim which must be followed to perfect the claim.
The Creditor's Claim itself must generally be filed within one year from the date of death of the deceased person. While there are some very limited exceptions for the type of claim, this is generally the limit.
If you believe you have a claim against a deceased person, you should consult with an attorney right away to understand your rights and protect your claim.
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