When someone passes away, one headache you may not expect is dealing with the creditors of their estate. You may have been unaware of what debts the decedent had accrued during their lifetime. In order to manage the estate, especially if you are acting as executor, you will have to deal with creditors so it is important to know what rights creditors have. When an estate goes throughprobate administration, the decedents' debts are paid out of the probate assets and the personal representative (this may be an executor or administrator) has an obligation to notify all known and reasonably ascertainable creditors (California Probate Code sections 7000-12591).
A decedent's estate who is not subject to probate, for example if the entire estate is placed into a trust, will generally be liable for unsecured claims against the decedent to extent of the fair market value of any property they have received from the decedent. There are several property laws which govern this. As such, you should consult with an experienced Los Angeles estate litigation attorney to determine what to do about any creditors.