Under Ohio’s Revised Code, creditors have six months to file claims against the deceased’s estate to collect outstanding balances. As noted by the Codes.Ohio.gov website, secured and unsecured creditors may present their claims to the executor or administrator managing the estate.
The estate’s executor may use money left in the deceased’s accounts to pay the testator’s personal income taxes. The executor may then determine whether the estate has enough assets to allow creditors to recover the amount they claim the deceased still owes.
Selling real estate to resolve financial issues
According to Section 2127.04 of the Ohio Revised Code, estate executors or administrators have the authority to sell the deceased’s property to pay debts. Heirs or other interested parties with an ownership interest worth at least 50%, however, must provide their consent to sell.
Without dissent, the court may order the executor to sell property and pay the estate’s debts. The administrator may also recover the costs of selling the property from the proceeds. The remaining cash may go toward resolving creditors’ claims.
Prioritizing properties to protect heirs or tenants
A testator may leave written instructions in a will outlining how the estate settles unpaid debts. The will may contain language describing the assets or properties that the testator prefers the administrator sell to settle financial matters. Ohio’s Country Journal reports that landowners may also include tenants in their wills. Instructions may direct an executor to offer to sell estate property to a tenant to prevent it from going toward paying creditors’ claims.
Although a will’s creator may have had verbal discussions with their chosen estate administrator, written instructions could determine how matters actually progress after the testator dies. Clearly stated written details in the will could avoid grey areas that might otherwise become disputes.