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How an Oklahoma executor should notify creditors

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2024 | Probate and Trust Administration

Becoming the executor of an estate involves important duties that you cannot neglect without incurring legal consequences. While you will be in charge of dispersing assets to beneficiaries, you must also ensure that any possible creditors know that they have a window to make claims against the estate.

Failure to properly notify creditors can result in personal liability for you as the executor. Oklahoma law describes some procedures for an executor to give notice.

Notification requirements by law

Within two months of your appointment, you must publish a notice to creditors in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the probate proceedings occur. The notice should include the name of the decedent, the date of death, your name and address as the executor, and instructions for creditors to present their claims.

Additionally, you must mail a notice directly to any known creditors. These parties have a window of two months from the date of the published notice or the date they received the mailed notice, whichever is later, to submit their claims against the estate.

If a creditor fails to provide a claim within this timeframe, a court may bar their claim. However, some exceptions apply, such as claims for taxes owed to the government or secured claims such as mortgages.

Creditor responsibilities

Under Oklahoma law, creditors have their duties to make claims. In addition to meeting deadlines, a creditor must present a claim in writing, providing details about the nature and amount of the debt. Additionally, owed parties should include invoices, contracts, promissory notes or other supporting documents. Claims should be submitted to the executor or the probate court handling the estate case.

In the event a creditor believes you have failed to properly notify that person or party as a known creditor, the party can petition the court to extend the claim period. However, the creditor must act promptly and provide evidence that you did not provide appropriate notice.

The goal of the creditor notification process is to ensure fairness for parties that a decedent owed money to. This way, even if a creditor resurfaces after probate administration, you might not end up liable if you have done your part to provide notice.