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Washington State Probate: Estate Creditors/Creditor Claims

March 28, 2019


This Washington State Probate Series blog will cover creditor claims during the probate. If you missed the prior Washington state probate series blogs, check them out.  


Washington State Probate: What is a creditor’s claim?


A creditor claim is a claim that is filed with the court and provided to the personal representative and/or attorney for the estate. The claim is made by a creditor of the deceased person. 


Washington State Probate: How long does someone have to present a claim?


The answer to this is a great legal response of: it depends on how the notice is issued. In a probate proceeding, the personal representative may publish what is called “Notice to Creditors” in a legal publication or newspaper.  Typically, in King County it is published in the Daily Journal of Commerce.  You can check out some of the published Notice to Creditors on their site.


The timeline for presentation of creditors claims can span between 30 days and 24 months, depending on how the creditor received notice to file a claim. Below is information on the time frames creditors have to present a claim.


Personal representative publishes notice: Creditor must present claim within 4 months after first date of publication notice.


Creditor receives actual notice: Creditor must present claim within the latter of 30 days after being served with notice.


Personal representative publishes notice and creditor is “reasonably ascertainable": Creditor must present claim within 24 months of decedent’s death.

Creditor must present claim within 24 months of decedent’s death.


Personal representative publishes notice and creditor is not “reasonably ascertainable": Creditor must present claim within 4 months after first date of publication notice.


No notice is published: Creditor must present claim within 24 months of decedent’s death.



Washington State Probate: How is a creditor claim presented?

The creditor must file a claim notice that includes (at a minimum) the following information:

  • Name and address of person making the claim;

  • Facts regarding basis of claim;

  • Amount of claim; and

  • If secured, nature of security and due dates.

The claim must be signed by the creditor.


The creditor must serve the claim on the personal representative or his or her attorney by sending it regular first-class mail within the applicable timeline (see above).


Washington State Probate: What happens after a claim is presented?


After a personal representative receives a claim, they can allow, reject or partially allow/reject the claim.


Claims for $1,000 or less are automatically allowed unless the personal representative rejects the claim.


If a personal representative rejects a creditor claim, the creditor can seek other legal remedies, including filing a lawsuit.


Washington State Probate: Where can I find out more?


The attorneys at Leos & Gilkerson, PLLC practice in probate law and can assist you in dealing with creditor issues. Reach out if you have questions


In addition, if you want to check out the statute on creditor claims you can here.


Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice from Leos & Gilkerson, PLLC or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a licensed lawyer.


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