Skip to Content

We are a Veteran Owned Business, providing 20% discounts for Veterans, First Responders, Elementary and High School teachers. Please contact us to set up a phone or Zoom meeting. Taking care of you and your family, It's What We Do!

Do I have to pay estate creditors in Gloucester County if no estate is opened?

Posted on Fri Aug 7, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: Creditor Claims Against Gloucester County Unopened Estate

Most Recently Updated July 19, 2018.

“My husband died a resident of Gloucester County without a will. All his assets were owned jointly with me. This week, I received a form letter in the mail from a creditor saying they had issued a statement and proof of claim against my husband’s estate. Also, they requested immediate payment in full. It is addressed to his estate, but came in the mail to me. What should I do?”

Creditor Claims Against Gloucester County Unopened Estate

Creditor Claims Against Gloucester County Unopened 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 the 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 the debt yourself, then they cannot pursue you for payment as his wife. However, they can ask that the payment be made from his share of the joint accounts. To enforce this claim, though, the creditor 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, it is unlikely they will pursue the claim. However, if they are successful, those funds would likely come out of the joint account and they will likely seek attorney’s fees for having to pursue their claim.

More Probate Questions?

The creditor claim 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 Gloucester County Unopened 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!

Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Estate Litigation, It’s All We Do

Tags:

Avoiding Probate, creditor claims, Gloucester County, New Jersey, Probate, Probate Attorney, Probate Lawyer

Peter KlenkPeter Klenk

What Our clients are saying

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Mr. Klenk has been easy to work with. I am confident he has given me good advice whenever I have called upon him. He has shown good work ethic and depth of knowledge in preparation of estate, wills, and trusts that I have worked with him on.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

B.A.

Peter Klenk and his associates are responsive and professional - It is a pleasure to work with their team. If you have needs in estate planning or administration, they are the firm to go to in the Philadelphia area!

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

A Google User

Peter is a model attorney who puts his clients first at all costs. His extensive expertise in estate planning and tax planning was a great comfort as we began, and have expanded, our family. He is very thoughtful, generous, and quick witted. His approach towards his business has been an inspiration to his peer group, and his zest for life is extremely infectious. Without reservation, I highly recommend Peter as trusted and cherished counsel

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Ronald W.

Peter and his staff are very responsive and always willing to help my clients and in a cost efficient manner.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Maggie K

Peter Klenk is an extraordinary attorney with positive guidance and knowledge for all of your Trust and Estate needs. We have used him for over 20 years.

Let us put our expertise to work for you.

Free consultation within 24 hours.