Can Creditors Collect From My Sister’s Estate for Debts She Had? – Ella


“Dear Steve,

After an exhaustive search on the Internet, I cannot find a clear answer to my question. My sister, who just died, left some limited assets as well as 4-5 old, statute-of-limitations expired, credit card debts that have gone to collections. Her estate may need to be probated.

After the 4 year statute of limitations to file judgements in CA expired, her credit was good enough to get another card, which she managed responsibly the final years of her life. Probating an estate is expensive. The old credit card debt totals some $35,000. Our family is trying to decide if these 4-5 credit card companies/collection agencies can collect in probate after so many years. If they can, the estate may be insolvent and not worth probating. Can they collect? Is the statute of limitations effective after death? Can the estate representative ignore or deny these claims?


Dear Ella,

That’s why God make probate lawyers. Find a local one and pay for professional legal advice for this situation. It will be money well spent.

Please update me on your progress by

You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

P.S. Be sure to read ‘The Secret of Surviving Through Difficult Economic Times. What I Learned On My Journey‘.

Steve Rhode
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2 thoughts on “Can Creditors Collect From My Sister’s Estate for Debts She Had? – Ella”

  1. Thank you for you published reply, sort of.

    My opinion is that God did not make probate attorneys. I asked a straight question about a dilemma that many other people must face. I met with a probate attorney on Monday and she could not answer this question. If a debt is old and time-barred from judgement/collection, is the estate still liable to pay? Between you and me, since I cannot find anything about it on the Internet, maybe the Credit/Collections companies don’t want us to know.

    I like your website…good reading. –Ella


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