Serving as the personal representative of an Oklahoma estate will mean a lot of work. You have to locate and secure assets, send notices to beneficiaries and attend court hearings. There are also taxes to file and accounts to settle.
Repaying the debts owed by the recently deceased individual is one of your major responsibilities during estate administration. You have to wait until creditors make a claim against the estate to distribute assets or risk personal liability for those debts. You could end up paying out of pocket for debts that the estate would have covered.
It is obviously in your best interests to carefully adhere to probate rules for notifying creditors and paying all valid claims. How long do creditors have to make a claim?
The clock starts ticking when you provide notice
Some creditors will be easy to locate. They will send billing notices to the address of the deceased or provide services that the family knows about, like utility service or revolving lines of personal credit. You have an obligation to notify known creditors within two months after receiving letters from the court affirming your position as the personal representative of the estate.
You provide notice by publishing it in a county newspaper twice for two consecutive weeks. You also have to file a notice to creditors including a list of all of the known creditors with the courts. Those creditors then have 60 days to bring a formal claim in probate court.
After that time passes, the executor can potentially move forward with property distribution without worrying about personal risk. Understanding and fulfilling all of the duties involved in estate administration will protect you from risk as the executor of an estate.