Under Pennsylvania estate law, the executor of an estate is responsible for paying the debts and expenses of the decedent. Creditors generally must make claims against the estate within one (1) year after the executor provides proper notice of the opening of the PA estate. The executor must be certain that an expense or debt is valid before paying the debt.
Sometimes, the executor must seek guidance from the appropriate PA Orphan’s Court for a determination of whether a debt is valid and payable. If an estate is insolvent, meaning that the decedent’s debts were greater than his or her assets, PA law will direct which creditors are to be paid first. If an executor pays a lower-ranked creditor before a higher-ranked creditor, the executor will be liable for the difference. Executors often negotiate a settlement with each creditor if the estate has debts greater than the assets.
Contact an Experienced Pennsylvania Probate Lawyer
The Martin Law Firm is a Pennsylvania probate law firm with an office located in Blue Bell, PA. Our skilled probate lawyers assists executors with the PA estate administration process, including payment of estate debts and estate expenses. Contact an experienced Pennsylvania probate lawyer at The Martin Law Firm today for a free case evaluation.