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Notice to Creditors Upon Death of Testator

By Matthew P. Stucki

On of the main responsibilities of the personal representative of an estate is to deal with the decedent’s creditors. The first step to start identifying who the decedent’s creditors are would be to examine the decedent’s mail and personal documents. The next step would be to call the major utility companies, including gas, power, trash, and cable to see if the decedent has any open accounts. Lastly, an examination of the decedent’s bank accounts may give some indication of the names of different creditors. In today’s world, it is becoming increasingly difficult to determine creditors as a growing population is conducting their business on the computer. However, these three steps often lead the personal representative to the decedent’s creditors.

Once creditors are identified, there are two ways, according to Idaho Code, to give notice to creditors of the requirement to present their claims against the estate. The first method is by a series of publications in the newspaper that should take place immediately upon getting named as personal representative. After four months, all unknown creditors are forever barred from bringing a claim against the estate if notice is properly published. The second method is by giving actual written notice to known creditors. Upon written notice, the creditor has 60 days from the date of written notice or 4 months from publication in the newspaper, whatever is later, to file a claim.

Failure to provide proper notice to known and unknown creditors will leave the estate subject to creditor’s claims for three years from the time of the decedent’s death.

For questions regarding creditors of an estate, feel free to call at 877-232-6101 or 208-232-6101 for a free consultation with Matthew P. Stucki and the Racine Olson team of Estate Planning attorneys in Pocatello, Idaho Falls, or Boise. You can also email Matthew P. Stucki directly at mps@racinelaw.net. We will answer your Idaho Estate Planning questions.

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