Wednesday, April 15, 2015


SECTION 3-104. CLAIMS AGAINST DECEDENT; NECESSITY OF ADMINISTRATION. No proceeding to enforce a claim against the estate of a decedent or his successors may be revived or commenced before the appointment of a personal representative. After the appointment and until distribution all proceedings and actions to enforce a claim against the estate are governed by the procedure prescribed by this [article]. After distribution a creditor whose claim has not been barred may recover from the distributees as provided in Section 3-1004 or from a former personal representative individually liable as provided in Section 3-1005. This section has no application to a proceeding by a secured creditor of the decedent to enforce his right to his security except as to any deficiency judgment which might be sought therein.
This and sections of Part 8, Article III, are designed to force creditors of decedents to assert their claims against duly appointed personal representatives. Creditors of a decedent are interested persons who may seek the appointment of a personal representative (Section 3-301). If no appointment is granted to another within 45 days after the decedent’s death, a creditor may be eligible to be appointed if other persons with priority decline to serve or are ineligible (Section 3-203). But, if a personal representative has been appointed and has closed the estate under circumstances which leave a creditor’s claim unbarred, the creditor is permitted to enforce his claims against distributees, as well as against the personal representative if any duty owed to creditors under Section 3-807 or Section 3-1003 has been breached. The methods for closing estates are outlined in Sections 3-1001 through 3-1003. Termination of appointment under Sections 3-608 et seq. may occur though the estate is not closed and so may be irrelevant to the question of whether creditors may pursue distributees. 

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