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Nate, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10685
Experience:  Over 10 years of legal estate experience.
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How are debts of an estate such as taxes and credit card debts

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How are debts of an estate such as taxes and credit card debts identified in the probate process?
My name isXXXXX have been a licensed attorney for over ten years and will be assisting you today.

Typically, the executor normally can determine what debts there are by looking at the decedent's finances and paperwork. In addition, there is a publication requirement, where the estate must announce its opening and the time period for creditors to make claims.

In Pennsylvania, the law requires the ad be run once a week for three weeks in a paper of general circulation and in the legal newspaper of the county which the decedent died. Doing this will cut off possible claims after one year.

After a year, no more claims can be made against the estate.

As far as taxes go, usually the executor will retain an accountant what may be owed by the estate.

If you have more questions please feel free to ask. I'll be happy to answer them. If you do not, please do remember to rate my service in assistance to you today.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

If a credit card obligation, or tax obligation exist but are not known about at the time of filing for probate is there some way to do an electronic search to identify these matters before starting the probate process?

The executor can run a credit check on the decedent. That should show everything that would be a non-government debt.

As far as taxes, contact the Pennsylvania of Revenue at 1-888-PATAXES. To see if there are any outstanding federal taxes owed, you need to contact the IRS. Local office numbers for Pennsylvania can be found here

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

If we identify obligations, is it legal for us to pay obligations out of bank accounts before probate is completed?

Yes, that's perfectly fine. The important part is that everything get paid.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I did not phrase last question properly.

If we identify obligations, is it legal for us to pay obligations out of bank accounts of deceased party.

Yes, all that matters is that the decedent's debts get paid before any assets are distributed to the beneficiaries. As long as there is a record of payment, everything can be properly accounted for.
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