Answer: A doubting personal representative of an estate has a few options, when dealing with creditors:
• Pay the debt, but risk that your family may object, later – remember, you are the “team captain” but subject to the will of the team (aka: the estate’s heirs or devisees). Don’t go volunteering the team’s money to pay expenses which may not be legitimate.
• You can get advance approval from the Probate Court. Here, you will give the team a chance to dispute. Otherwise, if they don’t you will be authorized to pay the debt.
• You can “compromise the debt” by negotiating a resolution. This can happen with or without Probate Court oversight.
• Finally, you refuse to pay and defend any lawsuit brought by the creditor. This lawsuit will likely be in the District or Superior Court, but must happen within a year from the date of death.
Use common sense and avoid spending a huge amount of your time, and racking up your personal rep. fees and legal fees. That creates a double whammy expense for the estate’s beneficiaries.