Klenk Law

Creditor Claims Against Husband’s Atlantic County Estate

Posted on Fri Jul 10, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: Creditor Claims Against Husband’s Atlantic County Estate

Most Recently Updated July 15, 2018.

“My husband died a resident of Atlantic County without a will. All his assets were owned joint accounts with me. This week, I received a form letter in the mail saying they had issued a statement and a proof of claim against my husband’s estate. They’re also requesting immediate payment in full. The letter is addressed to his estate, but came in the mail to me. What should I do?”

Creditor Claims Against Husband’s Atlantic County Estate

Creditor Claims Against Husband’s Atlantic County Estate

When someone dies without a will and all their assets are held jointly with a spouse, there is no need to file a will as the assets pass to the surviving spouse because of joint ownership. That being said, avoiding probate by using a joint ownership does not mean that he avoided his creditors.

If you are not responsible for your husband’s debt yourself, then his creditors cannot pursue you for payment as his wife. However, they can ask that the payment be made from his share of any joint accounts. To enforce this claim, though, they will have to retain a probate attorney to open the estate as an unpaid creditor and then pursue the joint asset. This is an expensive process. So, unless the debt is large, they will likely not pursue the claim. However, if the creditors pursued the claim and were successful, those funds would likely come out of the joint account and the creditors will also likely seek attorney’s fees for having to pursue their claim.

More Probate Questions?

Creditor claims is only part of the overall probate process. By all means, if you wish to learn more, please read my more detailed article, The Probate Process All You Need to Know.

In Conclusion: Creditor Claims Against Husband’s Atlantic County Estate

I hope that this article was helpful in explaining creditor claims. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website. Therefore, please contact me and let me know how I did. Certainly, your comments and questions are welcome!

Let our Probate Lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our experienced Probate Attorneys.  By all means, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Ultimately our goal is to make the process as painless as possible!

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