How long might creditor claims delay estate administration?

On Behalf of | Oct 3, 2023 | Estate Administration

The probate process in Indiana is relatively complex. Those who have never lost a loved one before may not be familiar with the rules that apply to probate proceedings. Most people only know that probate court can reduce how much someone inherits and may require a long time to complete.

As a result, both the person handling estate administration and those hoping to inherit from an estate may wonder about the timeline for the probate process. One of the reasons probate takes so long to complete is that Indiana state law grants creditors are right to make a claim against the estate for repayment for valid debts.

How long do creditors have to make claims?

Creditors could have up to nine months to take action

There are a few different rules that might apply to creditor claims during the Indiana probate process. The specific rule that applies will depend on the nature of the debt and how the creditor learns about the probate proceedings. Personal representatives fulfilling probate requirements will typically need to send written letters directly to known creditors and settle with them as soon as possible. They may also publish notice in a local newspaper. Creditors will have up to three months after the publication of the notice about the estate or up to nine months after someone’s death to file a probate claim.

If the representative of an estate fails to pay creditors before distributing assets, they could become personally responsible for the amount that the estate could have paid. As a result, seeking legal guidance to learn more about the probate process can help people better understand what to expect during estate administration and better understand how to safeguard their individual interests accordingly.