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Creditor Claims on Florida Estates

Posted on: December 14th, 2014
probate deadlineEvery state has legislation addressing deadlines for creditor claims in an estate. Estates in Florida are governed by Florida’s Probate Code. Multiple court cases in the past few years have involved creditors that were not sent a copy of the notice to creditors that must be published in the local newspaper. What happens with creditor claims made post-deadline?

The personal representative (executor) is responsible for notifying creditors and creditors have 90 days from the first publication of notice, or 30 days from notice receipt, whichever is later, to file a claim. Under Florida’s Probate Code, all claims made after these deadlines are void.

Creditors may request an extension or submit a belated filing under circumstances involving fraud. However, all creditor claims on Florida estates fall under a longer 2-year statute of limitations, and belated filings outside this time frame are not valid.

If you are concerned about Florida estate procedures, schedule a meeting with an estate planning attorney. State procedures and rules may contribute to a prolonged probate administration. The number of estates being probated in the same county also contributes to a potentially lengthy process. According to public records, Miami-Dade County opened 3,864 probate cases from 2012-2013. During the same time period, Broward County recorded 3,839 cases. 

An up-to-date estate plan can minimize the impact of state law requirements on the transfer and disposition of your assets. Proper planning can help protect assets from creditor claims before the death of the decedent and for the benefit of heirs, and allow assets to transfer outside of probate.
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