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What you should know about claims against estates in Ohio

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2023 | Estate Administration & Probate |

Debt does not vanish at death — whether it is unpaid medical bills related to a final illness or unpaid credit cards or a personal loan. Creditors are permitted to collect debt after death by making a claim against the deceased person’s estate.

Ohio law establishes rules for creditors to make a claim.

How long can creditors make a claim after death?

A creditor must submit their claim to the personal representative of the estate, also known as the fiduciary, no later than six months after the debtor passed. If a creditor fails to present a claim in this period, or if they fail to submit the claim to the proper person, the fiduciary is permitted to deny the claim and the estate may not be obligated to pay the debt and the creditor will be limited on what actions they may take against the estate.

Is it possible to shorten the claims period?

The fiduciary of an estate can shorten the claim period for creditors to 30 days by sending notice to the creditor, providing the decedent’s name and date of death, providing the fiduciary’s contact information, and notifying the creditor that it must present any claims within 30 days of the receipt of the notice. After 30 days’ notice, the creditor will no longer be able to make a claim against the estate.

However, noticing creditors and shortening the claim period will not necessarily mean that an estate can be settled before the full six-month period has lapsed. There may be other creditors that the fiduciary is unaware of who will still have the full claim period to present their claim. Settling an estate before the end of the claim period subjects the personal representative to unnecessary liability for unpaid creditors.