Can a collection agency garnish an estate account?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a collection agency garnish an estate account?

I recently opened an estate account. The money in the account is money my father left to me. I just received a bill for a debt he did not pay. Can they garnish the estate account for the monies owed? The money in the account is life insurance. After paying his funeral expenses there is less than $15,000 in the account.

Asked on August 3, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, New Jersey

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.   If the life inruance was payable "to the estate" and not to you directly - which is what I think that it was here - then it is subject to garnishment for the debts of the decedent (your Father).  I am assuming that a formal estate was opened.  Was notice to creditors given pursuant to the law in your state and did they file a claim with in the time frame provided by law?  If they did not then they are precluded from collecting (as long as you did not know about them too).  If they are with in their legal rights then negotiate the debt.  They will do that.  Good luck.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.   If the life inruance was payable "to the estate" and not to you directly - which is what I think that it was here - then it is subject to garnishment for the debts of the decedent (your Father).  I am assuming that a formal estate was opened.  Was notice to creditors given pursuant to the law in your state and did they file a claim with in the time frame provided by law?  If they did not then they are precluded from collecting (as long as you did not know about them too).  If they are with in their legal rights then negotiate the debt.  They will do that.  Good luck.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption