Understanding the Probate Notice to File a Claim
The reality of the world of estate planning is that it is filled with legal terms of art;
in fact, of all the legal fields, this one seems to clutch its traditions tighter than
most. Therefore, if you are confused by the terminology which it employs, know
that you are not alone. One such term of art is the “probate notice to file a claim.”
The odds are good that, if prompted, most people would not be able to explain
what it is or why it is important. Would you?
If someone took the time to draft a last will and testament, then, when that person
dies, the estate which they leave behind will be subject to the process of probate.
The term “probate” has a dual meaning: on one hand, probate means presenting the
will to the court for filing; on the other hand, probate also refers to the process that
is entailed in wrapping up the affairs of a decedent, and distributing his or her
The probate notice to file a claim arises out of the latter meaning of probate, and is
the means by which the administrator of the estate provides public notice of the
decedent’s death. The purpose of the notice is to provide people who think they
have an interest in the estate with an opportunity to file a claim to take from that
estate, be they an heir or a creditor. The probate court will then determine the
validity of a claim once it has been properly filed.
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