Notify creditors that probate has been authorized by the probate court

Settle the Estate

Once an executor or administrator is authorized by court to settle the deceased’s estate, state law usually requires that they notify creditors that probate has been authorized by the probate court.

This notification, commonly referred to as a notice to creditors, gives people and organizations the chance to make a claim for any money they were owed by the deceased.

Creditors are any individual, business, or financial institution to whom the deceased owed money (e.g. mortgage lenders, credit card companies, or family members who loaned money to the deceased).

Typically, the court will provide a template "Notice to Creditors" to notify creditors that an executor or administrator has been appointed and given the responsibility to settle the deceased’s estate.

The notice to creditors must be published in a local newspaper where the deceased lived.

The local newspaper will be able to provide specific instructions for publishing a notice to creditors.

Most publications have a specific page where all notices to creditors are published.

The Notice to Creditors can also be mailed or given directly to the individuals and organizations who were owed money.

However, this is optional and may not be necessary if the Notice to Creditors was published in a local newspaper.

Because notifying creditors of the death is a required part of the probate process, keep copies and records of any notices that were published or sent to interested parties.

Probate court may require confirmation that the notice to creditors was published, so keep a record of the dates the notice to creditors appeared in the local newspaper.

Probate courts often provide a fill-in-the-blank form where the executor will need to record the name of the newspaper that published the notice to creditors, as well as the dates the notice appeared in the paper.

Helpful Tips


NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT NOTICE TO CREDITORS NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS

To all interested persons in the Estate of [Name of Deceased], Estate No. [Estate Number]. Notice is given that [Name of Executor], whose address is [Executor’s Address] was on [Date of Executor’s Appointment] appointed Executor of the Estate of [Name of Deceased] who died on [Date of Death] [with/without] a Will. Further information can be obtained by reviewing the estate file in the office of the Register of Wills or by contacting the lawyer of the Executor.

All persons having any objection to the appointment (or to the probate of the decedent’s will) shall file their objections with the Register of Wills on or before the [Deadline to File Objections]. Any person having a claim against the decedent must present the claim to the undersigned Executor or file it with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned on or before the earlier of the following dates: (1) [Deadline to respond from the date of the decedent’s death]; or (2) [Deadline to respond after the Executor mails or otherwise deliver to the creditor a copy of this published notice or other written notice], notifying the creditor that the claim will be barred unless the creditor presents the claims within [deadline] from the mailing or other delivery of the notice. A claim not presented or filed on or before that date, or any extension provided by law, is unenforceable thereafter. Claim forms may be obtained from the Register of Wills.

[Name of Register of Wills], Register of Wills for [County, State] [Courthouse Address]


Creditors are any individual, business, or financial institution to whom the deceased owed money.

For example, even family members who loaned the deceased money are considered creditors.

Other common bills and debts of an estate include:

  • Mortgage
  • Car payments
  • Insurance payments
  • Home utilities
  • Real estate and property taxes
  • Credit card payments
  • Income taxes

The individuals or institutions who were owed money, including the common bills and debts listed above, should be notified once probate has been authorized by the probate court and an executor or administrator has been appointed.

By providing the creditor notice that probate has been authorized by the court, they will know they have a specific amount of time (often 3-6 months) to contact the executor in order to get paid any money they are owed.

Personal Considerations


Did the deceased have debts?


The executor or administrator will need to notify creditors that the deceased’s estate has started the legal probate process and they have been appointed to settle the estate.

Creditors are any person or company to whom the deceased owed money.

Even if creditors are contacted individually by the executor or administrator, there will still need to be a notice to creditors published in a local newspaper where the deceased lived.

Notify creditors of the deceased that the executor or administrator has been appointed, publish a notice to creditors in a local newspaper, and contact individual creditors in writing, if they are known.

Creditors have a limited amount of time, determined by state law, to request any money that is owed to them by the deceased.

If the executor identifies debts they do not think are real, it is important to get them validated and confirmed by the creditor who is claiming the debt.

Guides_Icon.svgRead More For more information on expenses to cancel, see the “Pay or cancel ongoing expenses” section of the Guide.

Guides_Icon.svgRead More For more information on paying bills, see the “Pay the Estate’s Bills and Debts" section of the Guide.


Even if the deceased had no bills or debts, state law still typically requires that a Notice to Creditors (also called a Notice of Appointment or Notice of Death) be published in a local newspaper where the deceased lived.

This notice will inform people when the deceased died, who has been appointed executor or administrator, and who to contact if they have an interest in the Estate.

State law determines how long individuals have to contact the executor or administrator after the notice is published (usually 3-6 months).

State law also determines how long and how often the notice to creditors must be published in the local newspaper (e.g., 3 weeks, weekly or daily).

Request a notice to creditors template from the probate court and complete the template with the deceased’s information.

The template is typically provided as a fill-in-the-blank form.

Contact a local newspaper where the deceased lived and inform them that you need to publish a probate notice to creditors.

Most newspapers have a specific procedure for publishing Notices to Creditors, for example, most notices are published in the same section for a set fee.


If the deceased had debts:

The executor or administrator will need to notify creditors that the deceased’s estate has started the legal probate process and they have been appointed to settle the estate.

Creditors are any person or company to whom the deceased owed money.

Even if creditors are contacted individually by the executor or administrator, there will still need to be a notice to creditors published in a local newspaper where the deceased lived.

Notify creditors of the deceased that the executor or administrator has been appointed, publish a notice to creditors in a local newspaper, and contact individual creditors in writing, if they are known.

Creditors have a limited amount of time, determined by state law, to request any money that is owed to them by the deceased.

If the executor identifies debts they do not think are real, it is important to get them validated and confirmed by the creditor who is claiming the debt.

Guides_Icon.svgRead More For more information on expenses to cancel, see the “Pay or cancel ongoing expenses” section of the Guide.

Guides_Icon.svgRead More For more information on paying bills, see the “Pay the Estate’s Bills and Debts" section of the Guide.

If the deceased did not have debts:

Even if the deceased had no bills or debts, state law still typically requires that a Notice to Creditors (also called a Notice of Appointment or Notice of Death) be published in a local newspaper where the deceased lived.

This notice will inform people when the deceased died, who has been appointed executor or administrator, and who to contact if they have an interest in the Estate.

State law determines how long individuals have to contact the executor or administrator after the notice is published (usually 3-6 months).

State law also determines how long and how often the notice to creditors must be published in the local newspaper (e.g., 3 weeks, weekly or daily).

Request a notice to creditors template from the probate court and complete the template with the deceased’s information.

The template is typically provided as a fill-in-the-blank form.

Contact a local newspaper where the deceased lived and inform them that you need to publish a probate notice to creditors.

Most newspapers have a specific procedure for publishing Notices to Creditors, for example, most notices are published in the same section for a set fee.

Actions to Take


Find a legal notice publication service near you

Providers to Contact


Probate Attorneys Near You

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