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

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 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.

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 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.

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