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How long do you have to make a claim against an estate?

On Behalf of | Jun 30, 2022 | Creditor Claims |

Knowing that someone owes you money, you send them letters and call them to keep them informed. You take steps to make sure that they realize they owe you that debt, and you do your best to collect it.

What about if they pass away, though? Now, you’re going to need to bring a claim against the estate. If you don’t, you may lose your right to collect anything at all.

How long do you have if you want to make a claim?

If you want to make a claim against an estate, you typically have one year to do so if probate is not opened. In the case that probate was opened, you’ll have even less time to make a claim. You will need to make a claim:

  • Within four months after letters are sent to the personal representative.
  • 60 days after the notice of administration is served.

If you do not make a claim within this timeframe, you could lose your right to collect the debt.

When can a creditor seek to extend the deadline for recovering a debt?

There are times when you can ask a court to intervene and extend the deadline. For example, if you did not know about the death more than 30 days prior to the abovementioned times, you may be able to ask the court to grant an exception in your case. If the personal representative didn’t notify you of the death, you may also seek an extension to make your claim.

It won’t always be the case that a missed deadline can be waived, but in some cases, you can turn to the court to ask for support.

Debts don’t disappear just because someone has passed away, you can make a claim

Debts aren’t automatically eliminated just because a person has died, but you do need to take steps to make sure you get compensated through the correct means. Once you know about the death, you should take quick action to try to seek compensation, so you can protect your right to collect the debt and make your claim within the statute of limitations.