One of the reasons probate exists is to make sure creditors are paid. But the truth is, unless the estate is bankrupt, most creditors do not use the probate process to get paid when someone dies. Typically, the creditors send the bills, the person in charge of the estate determines if the debt is legitimate and pays the the legitimate bills. AARP’s report on probate in 1990 determined that even then, only about 5% of creditors used the probate process to get paid. The percentage would be much less now.
To understand probate, you have to put probate into perspective. The probate process is basically the same today as it was 100 years ago. I would bet that a probate attorney from 1909 could probate an estate today. Keep in mind that 100 years ago, when we were an agrarian society, the guy at the feed store who gave farmer Bob credit might not find out that farmer Bob died for months. Probate was created to make sure the guy at the feed store received notice of farmer’s Bob’s death and that he got paid.