Personal Representatives MUST be Certain to Notice Ascertainable Creditors!
Under Florida law if you are acting as a personal representative you must carefully review the decedent’s credit cards, mail, etc to be sure that you notice all ascertainable creditors. A recent case, Golden v. Jones, http://www.4dca.org/opinions/Oct%202013/10-30-13/4D12-2094.op.pdf, decided in Broward County, confirms that, if you publish a Notice of Creditors and do not send such Notice to a reasonably ascertainable creditor, then the creditor may file a claim PRIOR to the earlier of (1) 30 days after service of notice of administration or (2) 2 years after the date of the decedent’s death. While this case leaves open the filing of a claim by a reasonably ascertainable creditor outside the 3 month publication period, the case also affirms that the 2 year statute after the date of death is a BAR to such a claim… So be careful and carefully review the decedent’s documents so you can be comfortable that you have noticed all ascertainable creditors. You want to be able to distribute assets from the estate before 2 years after the date of the decedent’s death AND sleep well at night!
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