Enforcing California Judgments After Death of Creditor or Debtor

What happens to a judgment enforcement matter in California when the judgment creditor or judgment debtor dies? With respect to judgment creditors, a judgment owned by a deceased judgment creditor may be enforced by the creditor’s executor, administrator, or successor in interest. CCP 686.010.

In the event of the judgment debtor’s death, enforcement of a judgment against property in a deceased judgment debtor’s estate is governed by the Probate Code. CCP 686.020. Pursuant to the Probate Code, a judgment against a deceased judgment debtor is not usually enforceable against the debtor’s estate under the Enforcement of Judgments Law. Instead, the judgment is payable in the course of administration. Prob.C.9300(a). Similar provisions govern enforcement of a judgment against the deceased settlor of a revocable living trust. Prob.C.19300 et seq.

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