Debtors, Creditors and Probate

Resolving Debtor-Creditor Disputes in Probate Court

The personal representative or trustee of a decedent’s estate is required to review, assess and resolve any claims that creditors have against the estate, as well as collect debts that were owed to the decedent. Any disputes regarding liability, specific amounts owed, availability of liability insurance or counter claims can complicate this process and delay the settlement of an estate.

For advice on how to resolve debtor-creditor disputes in Michigan probate courts, look no further than BRMM’s commercial litigation attorneys. Our lawyers represent estates in the determination and collection of debt disputes, creditors who need help recovering amounts owed by an estate, and third-party debtors in need of defense to the claims of an estate in probate court.

Since the passage of Michigan’s probate code in 2000, probate court jurisdiction to resolve contested debt claims has broadened. Most debtor-creditor disputes can be litigated in either probate court or circuit court; our attorneys can advise you which forum might be more advantageous for your particular case.

We help probate court litigants resolve debtor-creditor disputes as well as other third-party litigation in such situations as the following:

  • Breach of contract claims involving agreements to which the decedent was a party
  • Tort claims either on behalf of or against the decedent
  • Partnership or business disputes involving the decedent’s management or ownership interest in a company
  • Recovery of money owing to the decedent, or his or her trust, after his or her death

Personal representatives owe a fiduciary duty to heirs and devisees to protect the estate by liquidating its claims for the greatest value practicable under the circumstances and by making sure that the claims paid reflect genuine obligations in correct or properly compromised amounts. If you need advice about third-party claims against or in favor of a Michigan probate estate, contact BRMM today.