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How does one's death affect claims in litigation?

You might think that the end of one's life would also signal an end to his or her legal troubles in Los Angeles, yet that is not the case. Any outstanding financial claims against an estate must be settled from the estate's assets before any funds can be dispersed to beneficiaries. Thus, if you have been asked to serve as the personal representative for an estate, it behooves you to know how creditors' claims are to be handled, especially those where is already involved. 

Any creditor that had initiated litigation against your family member or friend prior to their deaths will have their claims automatically rejected due to your loved one's passing. That does not mean that those debts are discharged or forgiven, but rather that creditors must now take action against the estate. According to Section 9370 of California's Probate Code, for those claims were action or proceedings were pending at the time of your loved one's death, the creditors involved must apply to the court having jurisdiction over the case to substitute you (as the personal representative) for your family member or friend. This has to be done within three months of their initial claims being rejected. Keep in mind that the action is not against you, but rather the estate. 

For claims where no litigious action is pending, the initial rejection tolls the statute of limitations for creditors to commence litigation, allowing them more time to decide if that is the course of action to will choose to take. Per state law, the deadlines to seek action will be extended 90 days from the day that the initial rejection notice is received for claims currently due, or 90 days from the date the claim comes due if it is not currently in default. 

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