Q: Is an estate still obligated to pay bills that were received after the hearing to settle it?
I am the administrator of my brother's estate who died in Feb. 2020. It went through the probate process last year and late in March the court held a hearing on the required financial report which was approved. This allows me to now distribute the estate to the heirs. A few days after the hearing, I received two bills from a debt collector which I had no knowledge of prior to (or after) me submitting the Report of Claims to the court. They do look like medical bills that were sent to the debt collector. Is the estate still obligated to pay these bills now that it is settled?
A: In Connecticut, if a claim is not presented to the fiduciary within 150 days from the date of the fiduciary's appointment, the fiduciary is not personally chargeable for any assets (i) paid in satisfaction of any lawful claims, expenses or taxes, or (ii) distributed to any beneficiaries, provided such payments and distributions were made in good faith (i.e., the fiduciary had no knowledge of unfiled claims) before such late-filed claim was presented.
That being said, the estate assets distributed to the beneficiaries are deemed available for the payment of any such claim until the applicable statute of limitations has expired.
I have never actually seen a case where a creditor who filed a late claim actually pursued the beneficiaries after assets were distributed.
Depending on the size of the claims, you may want to consult an attorney about whether to take any other steps to protect you.
Matthew A. Wiley agrees with this answer
1 user found this answer helpful
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.