How do I get reimbursed for a loan I made to someone when that person has passed away?

I gave a loan to a gentleman to help him stay out of forclosure.
The notorized promissory note agreed that he would pay me in
one lump sum, but he has passed away recently. I had a deed of
trust, but I did not get the signature notorized. So I was
wondering what my options were in trying to collect the debt that
is owed to me.

Asked on January 1, 2019 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You can file a lawsuit against his "estate"--the money, assets, etc. he left behind--to enforce the loan: his debt becomes a debt of the estate. Or if there is a probate case going on for this estate, you can put a claim into probate, since again, the deceased's debts are the estate's debts and should be paid. Those are your two options: lawsuit, or claim in an open probate case. If you are going to do these things, do so quickly: once probate is resolved, it is too late to seek payment from the estate.
Bear in mind that if the estate doesn't have the money to repay you, you will not be paid: the heirs or executor/personal representative do not have to pay out of pocket, so only estate money is available for this. If he needed help to avoid foreclosure, he may have had little money and possibly many debts to be paid--it is highly likely his estate does not have the necessary funds to pay you.


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