November 20, 2012
When you open an estate and there are creditors who would like to get paid for unpaid debts, you will likely find that creditor’s claims will be made by the creditors filing a claim form in the Probate Court where the estate is being administered, as well as serving said claim on the Personal Representative.
The claim period for doing this is the earlier of 8 months after the Personal Representative is appointed, or 12 months after the death of the Decedent. Once this claim period is expired, it falls to the Personal Representative to determine which of the claims is: 1) valid and must be paid, 2) which is invalid and should not be paid, and 3) which is valid but cannot be paid because there are insufficient assets with which to pay.
What should a Personal Representative do when he or she believes that a claim is either invalid, or is valid but there are insufficient assets to pay with? In this case, the Personal Representative should send a notice of rejection of the claim to the creditor. This is done pursuant to SC Code Section 62-3-806. What sending this rejection does is it puts the onus on the creditor to petition the court for a hearing to have the validity of the claim determined. And it forces the creditor to do this within 30 days of the mailing of the rejection notice. If the creditor fails to file said Petition, the claim will be forever barred.
Like any decent lawyer, I need to add a disclaimer here: unfortunately, it is impossible to offer comprehensive legal advice over the internet, no matter how well researched or written. And remember, reviewing this website and my blogs doesn’t make you a client of my Firm. Before relying on any information given on this site, please contact a legal professional to discuss your particular situation.