How to Write an Estate Notice for a Newspaper

An executor often puts an estate notice in a newspaper.
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For the personal representative of an estate, taking the estate through probate can be a bittersweet process. The grief of losing a loved one makes the process difficult, yet settling the estate helps everyone move toward closure. The requirements for an estate notice vary from state to state. Writing an estate notice for a newspaper is a simple process that the personal representative of an estate follows to notify creditors whom the deceased owed money that they must make a claim against the estate to collect that money.

Step 1

Title the notice "Notice to Creditors," and include the name of the deceased, the name of the court in which the estate is being probated and the probate case number.

Step 2

State in the notice that you have been appointed as personal representative for the estate and that any person or organization that has a valid claim against the estate must serve a copy of the claim on you as the personal representative. Specify that a claim must include whatever claim information is required by your state's probate statutes. In South Carolina, for example, the creditor must state the basis of the claim, the amount of the claim, the date the claim is due and any property that secures the claim.

Step 3

State the time limit within which the creditor must present a claim to you. Time limits vary depending on the state law where the estate is being probated.

Step 4

State the date of first publication of the notice. Most jurisdictions require you to publish the notice more than once. In California, for example, a notice must be published three times, with at least five days passing between the first and third publication dates.

Step 5

List your name, your title as personal representative of the estate, your mailing address and your telephone number in the notice so that creditors can serve their claim notices on you or contact you.

Step 6

Submit the notice to the newspaper, along with fees required to publish the notice.

Tip

Check with your local probate court to verify local requirements for publication. In California, for instance, the personal representative of an estate must publish a copy of a Notice of Petition to Administer Estate that was filed with the probate court. By contrast, in Washington, there is no legal requirement to publish an estate notice, but the legislature encourages personal representatives to do so by offering incentives to those who do publish a notice.

Warning

Requirements for publication are different depending on the county and state where you file probate. Consult a probate attorney in your local jurisdiction to determine which requirements apply to you.

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