Q: If a non custodial parent dies and he has a spouse how can I find out if there is an estate if child support is owed?
A: Probate estates are opened in the jurisdiction where the deceased person died. You can find out whether an estate has been opened by contacting the Register of Wills (or going to the Register of Wills' website and performing a search with the deceased person's name).
A: Check with the Register of Wills for the county where the person died. Estates are open to the public, and you can review the will and any listed assets in the inventory and accounting filed in the estate. In many cases where a married person dies, their home, bank accounts and other assets are often titled jointly with right of survivorship, meaning that the surviving spouse becomes the sole owner of the jointly held assets and there are no assets that n the deceased person’s estate to pay any creditors. Your claim for child support arrears (the child support obligation terminated upon death by law) accruing through the date of death is a claim against the estate. You have a short window to file a claim against the estate or the claim will not be allowed. Further, you will need to reduce any arrearages to a judgment. You may want to consult a lawyer on this issue. The deadline for submitting a claim against an estate is the earlier of the following two timeframes: (1) 6 months from the date of death; or (2) 2 months from the date the personal representative mailed notice to you that your claim will be barred if not filed within 2 months.
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