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Richard
Richard, Tax Attorney
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 46157
Experience:  29 years of experience as a tax, real estate, and business attorney.
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Hello. Can the executor of the estate prioritize at his own

Customer Question

Hello. Can the executor of the estate prioritize at his own discretion which debts will be paid first, ie., a mortgage balance on the deceased's house.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Hi there. The priority of claims is set forth by the following CA probate statute. But, as you can see from 11422(a) and (d), if you pay one claim of the same class prior to another, as long as you pay one debt before ordered by the court to pay another, you are within your rights. :)


11420. (a) Debts shall be paid in the following order of priority
among classes of debts, except that debts owed to the United States
or to this state that have preference under the laws of the United
States or of this state shall be given the preference required by
such laws:
(1) Expenses of administration. With respect to obligations
secured by mortgage, deed of trust, or other lien, including, but not
limited to, a judgment lien, only those expenses of administration
incurred that are reasonably related to the administration of that
property by which obligations are secured shall be given priority
over these obligations.
(2) Obligations secured by a mortgage, deed of trust, or other
lien, including, but not limited to, a judgment lien, in the order of
their priority, so far as they may be paid out of the proceeds of
the property subject to the lien. If the proceeds are insufficient,
the part of the obligation remaining unsatisfied shall be classed
with general debts.
(3) Funeral expenses.
(4) Expenses of last illness.
(5) Family allowance.
(6) Wage claims.
(7) General debts, including judgments not secured by a lien and
all other debts not included in a prior class.
(b) Except as otherwise provided by statute, the debts of each
class are without preference or priority one over another. No debt of
any class may be paid until all those of prior classes are paid in
full. If property in the estate is insufficient to pay all debts of
any class in full, each debt in that class shall be paid a
proportionate share.



11421. Subject to Section 11420, as soon as the personal
representative has sufficient funds, after retaining sufficient funds
to pay expenses of administration, the personal representative shall
pay the following:
(a) Funeral expenses.
(b) Expenses of last illness.
(c) Family allowance.
(d) Wage claims.


11422. (a) Except as provided in Section 11421, the personal
representative is not required to pay a debt until payment has been
ordered by the court.
(b) On the settlement of any account of the personal
representative after the expiration of four months after the date
letters are first issued to a general personal representative, the
court shall order payment of debts, as the circumstances of the
estate permit. If property in the estate is insufficient to pay all
of the debts, the order shall specify the amount to be paid to each
creditor.
(c) If the estate will be exhausted by the payment ordered, the
account of the personal representative constitutes a final account,
and notice of hearing shall be the notice given for the hearing of a
final account. The personal representative is entitled to a discharge
when the personal representative has complied with the terms of the
order.
(d) Nothing in this section precludes settlement of an account of
a personal representative for payment of a debt made without prior
court authorization.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I received a general letter from DCM Services, LLC, addressed to the estate of my mother that asks if I know who the executor of the estate is. Is there any obligation to provide this information, especially if the funds from the estate are already exhausted? Thanks.

Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your reply. I would not identify the executor; rather, I would simply respond to them that the estate has no assets and thus the bill will not be paid. Hand sign it, but scribble it enough so that your specific name is XXXXX XXXXX Do not put a return address on your envelope.
Richard, Tax Attorney
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 46157
Experience: 29 years of experience as a tax, real estate, and business attorney.
Richard and 7 other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.
Thank you again....for both the rating and the bonus! I truly appreciate both!

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