In Florida, the publication of a Notice to Creditors triggers a deadline for creditors of a probate estate to file their claims.
In a Florida probate, a Personal Representative must promptly publish a Notice to Creditors. The Notice should contain the name of the decedent, the file number of the estate, the designation and address of the court in which the probate is pending, the name and address of the Personal Representative, the name and address of the Personal Representative's attorney, and the date of first publication. The Notice must also state that creditors must file claims against the estate with the probate court. Publication must be once a week for two consecutive weeks, in a newspaper published in the county where the estate is administered. In addition to publishing the Notice, the Personal Representative must mail a copy of the Notice to all creditors who are reasonably ascertainable. The importance of the Notice is that its publication and/or service by mail determine when creditors must file their claims against the estate. Although there are certain exceptions, creditors must file their claims within three months after the first publication of the Notice; failing to do so will result in their claims being barred. Because of the importance the Notice to Creditors, both the Personal Representative and any substantial creditors should be represented by Florida counsel.