California’s probate process aims to expeditiously identify and resolve the claims of creditors against decedents. Creditors who are unsophisticated, or who simply do not learn of the decedent’s passing, may find themselves with an uncollectable claim against an otherwise solvent estate. You snooze, you lose.
On the other hand, once a creditor makes a claim in a California probate case, the claim can lie dormant like an oak tree in winter and later come to life to interfere with the distribution of the decedent’s assets. That’s the lesson of Estate of Holdaway (2019) 40 Cal.App.5th 1059, published by the Court of Appeal this month.