My Dads legal debt, although passed away

My Dad owed his girlfriend 4000, but didnt
pay it before he passed away, although he
could have. The estate was divided up
between his 4 childrenadults. 3 months later,
she sent a letter asking for the 4k, indicating
that he owed her said amount, but all she has
as proof is a check she wrote out to him for
3000.
Is she entitled to any of that amount?

Asked on March 8, 2018 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

1) First, she'd have to prove it was a loan, with an obligation to repay; simply showing that a girfriend gave her significant other a check does not, by itself, prove an obligation to pay, since romantic partners give each other gifts all the time. So if all she has is a check from her to him, that is a long way from proving anything.
2) Second, if there was an obligation to repay, that would become an estate debt: his estate (money and assets left behind) would be obligated to pay IF she presented the claim before probate was closed, during the correct time period to present claims vs. the estate. If she did not present her claim until after the estate was probated and assets distributed, she is too late.


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