When a person dies, his or her assets comprise the person's estate, and the estate's fiduciary is the deceased person's legal successor.
A deceased person cannot pay his or her outstanding debts. The person's creditors must pursue the person's estate for payment.
Generally, therefore, claims against a person's estate are those debts that were outstanding at the person's death.
In Ohio, it's not quite that easy. Specific laws govern which debts are considered claims against the person's estate.
Ohio Revised Code 2117.06(B) ad (C) provide that all claims shall be presented within six months after the death of the decedent and that a claim that is not shall be forever barred.
Ohio Revised Code 2117.07 provides that a fiduciary may accelerate the bar against claims against the estate by delivering a special notice.
Attorney fees and Expenses are not required to be presented nor for the allowance for support (i.e. the Family Allowance) to be paid to the surviving spouse and minor children.
Even if a creditor fails to timely present a claim against the decedent's estate, the creditor can in some cases bring an action against the decedent's spouse because married people have the legal obligation to support one another. A creditor might pursue the spouse even if the spouse was never a co-signer or guarantor under the contract.