Validate estate debts

Settle the Estate

Most Americans have debt. The executor or administrator should review the deceased’s financial accounts to determine which bills and debts were owed.

Then, the executor should validate any debts to confirm they are still owed (as some debts may have already been paid by the deceased).

Estate debt validation is an important to help avoid distributing funds incorrectly.

The executor may also need to determine the remaining balance owed on some larger debts, such as a mortgage or car loan.

To do so, the executor should contact the financial institutions that service the loans and request documentation of the loan, as well as any balance remaining.

Exclamation_Icon.svgImportant During the legal probate process, executors are typically required to publish a notice to creditors. The notice to creditors informs people and organizations who were owed a debt by the deceased who was appointed executor and how long they have to request the money they were owed.

If and when the executor is contacted by a creditor, they should request documentation to validate the debt (such as a loan document or contract) and determine how much is owed.

Guides_Icon.svgRead More To learn more about notifying creditors during probate, see the “Notify creditors that Probate has been authorized by the Probate Court” section of the Guide.

Helpful Tips


[Executor Name] [Executor Address]

[Date] [Creditor Name] [Creditor Address] Re: [Account number for the debt, if you have it]

To Whom it May Concern:

I am contacting you about a debt owed by [name of deceased]. [Name of deceased] passed away on [date of death] and I was appointed Executor of [his/her] Estate on [date of Letters Testamentary].

Please supply the information below so that I can be fully informed of any debts that need to be paid:

Why you think the Estate owes the debt and to whom it is owed:

  • The name and address of the creditor to whom the debt is currently owed, the account number used by that creditor, and the amount owed
  • Provide verification and documentation that there is a valid basis for claiming that the Estate is required to pay the debt
  • For example, can you provide a copy of the written agreement that created the original requirement to pay?

The amount and age of the debt:

  • A copy of the last billing statement sent to the deceased
  • State the amount of the debt when it was obtained, and when that was
  • If there have been any additional interest, fees, or charges added since the last billing statement, provide an itemization showing the dates and amount of each added amount
  • If there have been any other changes or adjustments since the last billing statement, please provide full verification and documentation of the amount for collection

I am asking for this information because I am obligated to verify any debts owed by [name of deceased]. I need to hear from you to make an informed decision about the claim that this money is owed. I am open to communicating with you for this purpose.

Thank you for your cooperation and assistance.

Sincerely,

[Name of Executor} Executor of [name of deceased]’s Estate, Estate No. _________ [Contact information for Executor]

Providers to Contact


Debt Settlement Attorneys Near You

Debt settlement attorneys help debtors negotiate with creditors. They can help you negotiate new payment terms and potentially settle a debt for less than is owed.

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