What Happens if Someone Who Owes You Money Dies?
What happens if someone who owes you money dies? Do you get nothing? Do you have to waste money on a lawyer? Do you have to submit court documents to an estate? What happens if there is no estate/probate opened?
Often laborers, health care companies, and contractors (all referred to as creditors) provide services to someone just before they die. Many times, the debt is forgotten, and the creditor moves on to the next job. However, there is a way to get reimbursed for a debt without having to spend money on an attorney or figure out a complicated court process.
In Colorado, creditors can nominate a Personal Representative (often referred to as an executor) to manage an estate. The Personal Representative is often a law firm or other fiduciary who files a probate after 45 days from someone’s death because family members or others have failed to do so in a timely manner. The Personal Representative is compensated from the estate assets and therefore the laborer, health care company, or contractor who is owed money does not have to pay any legal fees themselves.
After the probate is opened, the creditor can simply submit the invoice or description of work to the Personal Representative in an email for verification and get reimbursed from the estate assets, house, financial accounts, or other sources of funds. The creditor then gets reimbursed without having to pay any legal fees.
Often, family members wait many months or even years to file a probate which does a disservice to creditors. This delay often results in the property being damaged, theft, and other losses in estate value. The quicker a creditor can get an estate opened, the better the situation is for everyone involved and it comes at no extra cost to the creditor.
If you are owed money from a person who recently died, please contact Rossi Law for a free consultation.