There are so many notice requirements in a probate. Here are some of my notes from the proabte seminar I gave this week. This focuses on some of the notice requirements you need to be aware of. Contact me with questions. -John
PRACTICE POINTER: Always err on the side of caution. If there is a question if they should be put on notice I recommend putting them on notice.
a. The hospital or rest home, if any, where the decedent died.
b. All physicians or other health-care providers who treated the decedent.
c. All ambulance companies used.
d. The landlord (if decedent rented) or mortgage holder (if decedent owned property).
e. All employees and providers of services (gardener, cook, accountant, maid, etc.).
f. Utility companies (gas, water, electricity, telephone, cable television, etc.).
g. Note payees (may be found by reviewing tax returns for the list of interest deductions).
h. All credit card companies (also return any credit cards cut in half at the time the notice is given).
i. Anyone who sends a bill to the decedent.
j. Any securities broker who may have a margin account or other obligation due.
k. Those interested in the decedent’s guaranties or contingent liabilities, which may appear on any financial statements of the decedent.
l. Creditors of the decedent’s business if it appears likely that there may have been personal guaranties or if the business is not incorporated.
REALLY IMPORTANT PRACTICE POINTER: In all cases a parent-child (or grandparent-grandchild) exclusion form should be filed PRIOR TO REAL PROPERTY BEING SOLD and within 3 years of transfer (death). This is especially important in probate estates (and trust administrations) where you are selling the property as you will inadvertently create a large supplemental tax bill if you don’t file before the real property is sold.
PRACTICE POINTER: When in doubt put them on notice! I always suggest to my clients that they put everybody on official notice of administration of the estate by sending the Notice of Administration form with a blank creditor’s claim form. I recommend doing this to heirs at law, beneficiaries and anybody who may have expended money before or after death in regards to the decedent or her estate. I often put the PR herself on notice in case they have to file a creditor’s claim in the estate for some reason. The bottom line, to me, I want to know who all creditors are so when the probate ends I know my client, the PR, does not have anything to worry about!