Presentation of a Claim in an Estate

Estate Claim Must Be Presented Directly to Executor/ Administrator


The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that Ohio law requires a claim against an estate to be filed within six months after the death of the decedent mailed directly to the Executor or Administrator.  Mailing the claim to a person not appointed by the probate court who later gives it to the Executor or Administrator does not meet the law’s requirements.


Ohio Revised Code Section 2117.06 states: (A) All creditors having claims against an estate, including claims arising out of contract, out of tort, on cognovit notes, or on judgments, whether due or not due, secured or unsecured, liquidated or unliquidated, shall present their claims in one of the following manners: (1) After the appointment of an executor or administrator and prior to the filing of a final account or a certificate of termination, in one of the following manners: (a) To the executor or administrator in a writing; (b) To the executor or administrator in a writing, and to the probate court by filing a copy of the writing with it; (c) In a writing that is sent by ordinary mail addressed to the decedent and that is actually received by the executor or administrator within the appropriate time specified in division (B) of this section. 


In the Wilson v Lawrence case (Slip Opiion No. 2017-Ohio-1410), Gorman owed a balance of $200,000 to Wilson in connection with Gorman's purchase of an interest in Wilson's Marine 1 L.L.C. Ten days after Gorman death, Wilson sent a letter presenting his claim to Gorman's secretary and to his Trustee/Accountant.  He did not send any notice directly to Lawrence the decedent's court-appointed Executor.  The claim was subsequently timely forwarded to Lawrence by both the secretary and Trustee. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled, nevertheless, that this was not sufficient to present Wilson's claim against the estate, and the court held that Lawrence properly rejected the claim.


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