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Managing Probate: Understanding Creditor Priority

Navigating the Probate Process After a Loss

Managing Probate: Understanding Creditor Priority

February 18, 2023

By Johnson/Turner Legal

Managing Probate: Understanding Creditor Priority

February 18, 2023

By Johnson/Turner Legal

Managing Probate: Understanding Creditor Priority

Navigating the Probate Process After a Loss

The passing of a friend or family member triggers both the grieving process and the need to handle various logistical tasks, including probate. Probate involves the official administration of the deceased’s estate, encompassing asset gathering, debt payment, and asset distribution to heirs and beneficiaries. The personal representative plays a crucial role in ensuring that these tasks comply with Minnesota law and, if applicable, the deceased’s will.

The Importance of Creditor Priority in Estate Administration

A key responsibility for personal representatives is understanding and adhering to the creditor priority. This determines the order in which the deceased’s creditors are paid.

Creditor Priority According to Minnesota Law

Minnesota Statute 524.3-805 outlines the following order for creditor priority:

  1. Estate Administration Costs and Expenses
  2. Reasonable Funeral Expenses
  3. Debts and Taxes with Federal Preference
  4. Expenses for the Deceased’s Last Illness
  5. Medical and Hospital Bills from the Last Year of Life
  6. Debts with State Preference, Including State Taxes
  7. All Other Claims

Handling Insufficient Estate Funds

If the estate lacks enough assets to cover all debts, the priority order becomes even more crucial. The personal representative must settle debts in the listed order, which may result in some lower-priority creditors not being paid. Failing to follow this order can lead to personal responsibility for the personal representative to settle any overlooked higher-priority debts.

The Role of Creditors and Personal Representatives

Creditors must submit their claims within a specific timeframe. The personal representative then evaluates each claim to determine its validity and whether it should be allowed or disallowed.

Seeking Guidance in Probate Administration

Probate can be complex, especially when dealing with creditor priorities and estate administration. If you require assistance or have questions about probate, contact us at (320) 299-4249. Our experienced team can help you navigate through these processes effectively.

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