If there is any doubt about a claim against an estate, the executor should require it to be proved.
Creditors must prove their claims against the estate, unless allowed or paid by the executor or administrator.
The estate is to be administered within a certain period provided by the law, as one or two years, and claims must be presented by the creditors of the estate and proved by them by competent evidence.
The law divides claims into classes giving one class priority over others; thus there will be claims of the first class, second class, third class and so on. Thus funeral expenses, etc., the widow's award, etc., and claims of various sorts have priority over claims of general creditors. Of course creditors who have security are not deprived thereof and the security is unaffected by the death of the debtor.
If the funds of the estate are insufficient to pay debts, the assets must be sold to pay same.
The executor or administrator must convert the estate into sufficient funds to pay the debts thereof. Real property, even, may be reached for this purpose, although it was unavailable at common law.
In case of a will which makes specific bequests and devises, the general rule is that the general legacies first abate, then if necessary the specific legacies, and personal property abates before real estate.