San Diego, CA asked in Probate for Massachusetts

Q: Is a creditor required to file a claim against an estate with the probate court?

My brother passed away 13 months ago with over 20 different debt accounts including loans, credit cards and medical bills. I assume that the estate will be solvent, although I am still not clear about taxes from previous years (final returns have already been completed) and just recently filed forms 4810 and 5495. Based on IRS reputation, I'm thinking that it will be at least 9 months before I know whether they will make any claims.

Since becoming personal representative 10 months ago, I have received many letters and statements reflecting the outstanding balances owed on various obligations. However, only 5 creditors have filed an actual claim with the probate court. Are creditors who did not file a claim with the court out of luck? Or is their letter/statement mailed to my address the only requirement? Probate is in Massachusetts.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Woburn, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: If there is not already a lien or automatic lien , then the creditors who failed to properly perfect their claims by following the statute within one year from the date of death are out of luck.

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