If I was awarded a no-show default judgment but the defendant died, can it still be enforced against the estate?

UPDATED: Oct 29, 2014

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If I was awarded a no-show default judgment but the defendant died, can it still be enforced against the estate?

The judgment is still good as it was renewed. The defendant left the state. I recently learned that he may have passed away last year. It appears that he was married at the time of the judgment and at the time of his passing. Basic search has produced no probate records. I want to know whether I can enforce the judgment against his estate – spouse, beneficiaries, etc. and whether it is not too late to proceed with the action? In addition, what is the best way to determine whether there are non-exempt assets to collect upon?

Asked on October 29, 2014 under Estate Planning, Texas


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Please seek consultation in your area on this matter.  There are many issues that you need to discuss in person and hurdles you need to overcome.  First, if everything was held jointly with his spouse then he had no estate per se when he passed away.  Everything went to his wife.  Also, if there were assets to go against, there are time limitations for creditors to make a claim on estate assets. And the default gives rise to questions like notice and vacating same. Get help.  Good luck.

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