ARTICLE: Notice to Decedents' Creditors Skip over navigation
LexisNexis® Browse Law Reviews and Treatises
Skip over navigation
Sign in with your® ID to access the full text of this article.
Order the full text of this article if you do not have a® ID.
US $22.00 (+ tax)

Copyright (c) 1989 Minnesota Law Review
Minnesota Law Review

ARTICLE: Notice to Decedents' Creditors

February, 1989

73 Minn. L. Rev. 763


Thomas L. Waterbury *


In 1950, the United States Supreme Court decided Mullane v. Central Hanover Bank & Trust Co. 1 Mullane invalidated a New York statute that permitted a common trust fund trustee to secure judicial approval of its accounts 2 in a proceeding of which trust beneficiaries were given notice merely by publication. 3 The Court explicitly confined the holding of Mullane to trust beneficiaries who were identified in the trustee's current records. The Court held that such beneficiaries were at least entitled, under the due process clause of the fourteenth amendment, to be notified of the accounting proceeding by ordinary mail. 4

Mullane is better known, however, for Justice Jackson's general description of the notice requirement of the due process clause, a description not confined to the rights of known parties with known addresses:

An elementary and fundamental requirement of due process in any proceeding which is to be accorded finality is notice reasonably calculated, under all the circumstances, to apprise interested parties of the pendency of the action and afford them an opportunity to present their objections. 5

This general description suggests that "interested parties" who are not known also may be entitled to such notice. Mullane did not address the subject of what kind of search for such people due process would require.

Many state probate codes, however, long have authorized one or both of two procedures under which courts may determine the respective rights of successors and creditors of decedents without meeting the Mullane notice requirements ...
If you are interested in obtaining a® ID and Password, please contact us at 1-(800)-227-4908 or visit us at
Search Documents
eg., Environmental Insurance Coverage Under the Comprehensive General Liability Policy

Lexis® Web - The only search engine that delivers free web content specifically from legal sites validated by LexisNexis® attorney editors and includes tools for faster research and more relevant results.

LexisNexis Store
Research Now - Go to
Connect the Dots - Free 1 hour webcast
Share. Network. Discover. - Go to LexisNexis Communities