Does an Administrator of an Estate Have to Publish It in the Paper?

By Jennifer Williams

Probate laws require certain facts be made public through publication. States vary as to what must be made public, where to publish and for how long, but every state has some type of publication requirements. Once made aware of probate through publication, beneficiaries and creditors have the opportunity to contest decisions of the personal representative or file claims against the estate.

Probate laws require certain facts be made public through publication. States vary as to what must be made public, where to publish and for how long, but every state has some type of publication requirements. Once made aware of probate through publication, beneficiaries and creditors have the opportunity to contest decisions of the personal representative or file claims against the estate.

Notice of Probate and Appointment of Personal Representative

The first notices published in a probate proceeding in jurisdictions that require them are notices that probate of a particular estate is open and that a personal representative is appointed. In Maryland, for example, the notice is published by the Maryland Registry of Wills in a local newspaper. It provides the name of the personal representative so that anyone with a legal interest in the estate, such as a beneficiary, who has a problem with the appointment can come forward and file an objection.

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Notice of Interested Persons

In a probate proceeding, an interested person is anyone entitled to participate in the proceeding, such as a beneficiary, family member unnamed in the will or creditor. In other words, anyone who might have a stake in the distribution of estate assets. Some jurisdictions require that a personal representative publish a notice listing the interested persons of the estate. Texas and Maryland, for example, require such notices to be published in a local newspaper. Some jurisdictions, such as Texas, additionally require the notice to be posted in the county courthouse where probate is taking place. Usually the notice must also be sent to each listed individual directly.

Notice to Creditors

A creditor of an estate is anyone the deceased still owed money to at the time of death, i.e. anyone entitled to collect an unpaid debt of the decedent from the proceeds of the estate. Creditors must always be given notice of the probate. Usually the notice must be published in a local newspaper. Creditors have a certain amount of time to file their claims against the estate after notice is published, usually six months. The deadline is significantly shorter, usually two months, for any creditor given notice directly.

Publication Timeline

The amount of time a notice must run in a local newspaper varies by jurisdiction and type of notice being published. Many states, such as Maryland, require publication of any notice for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper generally circulated within the county where probate is being conducted.

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If a Creditor Does Not File a Claim in the Decedent's Estate in Alaska, Do You Have to Pay the Claim?

References

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The State of Florida Statute of Limitations on Inheritance

Florida law encourages the timely settling of estates after death. Although the probate process may be started at any time, once a person has been appointed to administer the estate, various steps must be completed efficiently and in accordance with a strict set of statutes. These time limitations apply to notifying beneficiaries and creditors and specify how long you have to collect from the estate before assets will be considered unclaimed and become the property of the state.

How to Wind Up the Estate

Winding up an estate may require probate, regardless of whether the deceased left a will. Legally transferring title to a decedent's property is a process that every state addresses for its residents. Many states allow estates with no real property and only a small amount of personal property to wind up without probate, while other states usually require the appointment of a personal representative, identification of heirs or beneficiaries, publication of notice to creditors, and property inventory and appraisal before a decedent's property is finally distributed.

Legal Expenses for Settling a Will After a Death in Missouri

The legal expenses of settling a deceased person's estate are taken directly from the estate. It is necessary to know what these expenses are since they reduce the estate's proceeds. The court clerk's office maintains a schedule of fees and costs charged by the probate court, and the Missouri Bar Association maintains lists of probate attorneys licensed to practice law in Missouri who can provide information on all other probate costs.

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