Many people do not understand the Ohio law for deceased debt, Revised Code 2117.06(c), which states "Except as provided in section 2117.061 of the Revised Code, a claim that is not presented within six months after the death of the decedent shall be forever barred as to all parties, including, but not limited to, devisees, legatees, and distributees...." Ohio Revised Code 2117.061 gives Medicaid up to a year to present claims. The Ohio law for deceased debt says an Estate does not have to pay the debts of the dead person after 6 months from the date of death. In fact, the Executor or Administrator is prohibited from paying these claims after 6 months.
This rule does not apply to secured debts such as mortgages or car loans, though. Secured creditors can repossess the car or foreclose on a home. In order to prevent a foreclosure or repossession of a car, someone will have to make the payments until the Estate is able to do so.
Many creditors mislead the surviving spouse or children into thinking they have to pay the debts of the departed person. Most of the time this is NOT TRUE. You do not have to pay someone else's debts unless you co-signed the obligation. Do not be misled by debt collectors. Call for legal advice if you are unsure what to do.
For all these reasons, if your loved one has died with large credit card debts, medical bills, or other unsecured debts, we recommend waiting 6 months before opening an estate administration. By waiting, the beneficiaries will receive more money. We also advise people not to give out any information to creditors, such as telling them a person has died. If you supply a creditor that information, it may cause the creditor to file suit or to bring a claim within the 6 month window, depleting the estate's assets. A mortgage or lien holder can accelerate the balance due if they find out the maker of the load has died.
Contact an Ohio Probate Attorney to obtain the most money from your inheritance. Your phone consultation is free.