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The personal representative must determine how to pay valid creditor claims from either separate or community assets. Probate Code even permits the survivor to bring debts of the survivor into the probate proceedings. (California Probate Code 11440). The personal representative and surviving spouse can make agreements to classify the debts. Absent any agreements, the debts of the decedent are apportioned based on all the property of the spouse liable for the debt at the date of the death that is not exempt from enforcement of a money judgment. This of course is determined in relation to the value of the property less any liens or encumbrances. Under section 11444 the decedent’s separate debts are to be paid solely from the decedent’s separate property and community debts are to be paid 50% form the decedent’s half of the community and 50% of the survivor’s half. Proration occurs only for debts that are neither separate nor community. Such debts would be the probate costs.

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