Q: I am the personal representative of a small estate in MD. See the more information for details.
I am the personal representative in Maryland of a small estate for a friend who passed away.
I notified creditors in writing of the 30 day limit to file a claim.
My letter contained "Pursuant to Section 5-603(b) of the Estates and Trusts Article of the Maryland Code you are advised that any claim you may have against this estate will be barred unless you present a claim within thirty (30) days from the mailing of this notice to the Cecil County Register of Wills, Circuit Courthouse, 129 East Main Street, Suite 102, Elkton, Maryland 21921."
Now 75 days later a creditor submits a claim. Do i need to honor it?
A: Because of the pandemic, all Maryland courts were closed for business except for "emergency" matters as of March 16, 2020, and in addition, all filing and time deadlines provided by any statute, rule or scheduling order were also automatically extended for the same amount of time as the courts remain closed. Therefore, if the 30 day time frame for the creditor to file their claim would not have expired already by the March 16 court closure date, then their claim is timely. if you deny the claim (there is a form for this with a required notice in it), then the creditor has to meet another deadline (also suspended at this time) in order to challenge the denial. Also remember that creditor claims get paid after all administrative expenses, funeral and burial reimbursement/costs, PR and attorney fees. So, in a small estate, there could potentially be nothing left to pay creditors.
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