What happens to an unpaid debt after probate is closed?

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What happens to an unpaid debt after probate is closed?

My husband’s father passed away a year ago. We went through probate and it has closed. However, last week we got a letter from the lawyer helping us at the time saying that he forgot to mention a check that my father-in-law signed the day before he died that we need to pay. Are we liable for his check since probate is over? We did not know about the check and the lawyer said it slipped his mind?

Asked on May 18, 2015 under Estate Planning, Tennessee

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Hummm, sounds like it is the fault of the attorney and maybe not a probate issue.  Generally sepaking, if there is a creditor that fails to either timely file a claim against the estate or the decedent then the action against the estate is time barred.  If the attorney( was he the executor as well?) failed to pay a debt of the estate that he had knowledge of then maybe he may be personally responsible.  You need to discuss this with him and your siblings and decide how you want to approach the matter.  Good luck.


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