Publishing a notice to creditors is not required. But it reduces the time period during which creditors could make claims against the estate. Even if you do not start a probate, there is a procedure to provide notice to creditors, which mirrors the process you would use in a probate. Without sending a notice to creditors, creditors will have until the statute of limitations runs out (which varies, but could be 6 years if based on a written contract).
Whether or not you should use the process to give notice to creditors involves an analysis of the benefit versus the risk of doing it or not doing it. This may be something you want to talk with an attorney about.
Douglas N. Kiger, Attorney at Law
Blado Kiger Bolan, Tacoma, Wash