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I need help on the priority of payments of claims on an insolvent estate in Pennsylvania.

Havertown, PA |

This estate has the following debts
Funeral reimbursement, IRS debts, State tax debt, Judgments (2) (deceased had these judgments issued before death but was unable to pay), traffic tickets (government fines) and Credit Cards.

After I pay all administrative cost, furneral reinbursements, and taxes federal and state, how do I handle the judgment debt? I assumed Judgment debt comes before the government fines and credit cards? The type of judgment debt is car company (secured debt) and land lord/tenant. Do I split what is left over between the two judgments or do I give what is left to the car company (secured) debt first?

Attorney Answers 2


As an attorney licensed in Ohio, I can only speak to Ohio law.

Ohio Revised Code section 2117.25 addresses the order in which debts of an estate are paid: (1) The costs and expenses of administrating the estate; (2) funeral expenses; (3) allowance for support made to the surviving spouse, minor children, or both; (4) debts entitled to a preference under the laws of the United States; (5) expenses of the last sickness of the decedent; (6) other funeral expenses exceeding four thousand dollars; (7) personal property taxes, claims made under the medicaid estate recovery program, and obligations for which the decedent was personally liable to the state or any of its subdivisions; (8) debts for manual labor performed for the decedent within twelve months preceding the decedent’s death, not exceeding three hundred dollars to any one person; and (9) other debts for which claims have been presented and finally allowed.

Other states have similar laws regarding the order of payment of debts of an estate. I suggest you contact a Pennsylvania probate attorney for information on this issue.

Any information provided by this attorney does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

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There is a statute in PA that specifically states the order of priority. I would recommend hiring an attorney to advise you.

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