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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    11

    Question Statute of Limitations for Claim Against Decedent's Estate

    Regarding estate proceedings in: California
    4/27/12, I posted the following: parent who deceased in 2010 had credit card debt w/bank. Trust admin. received collection notice w/debt amount from lawyer. Legal advisor said, "this guy sends out these notices by the dozens," & hinted at ignoring letter. Lawyer filed petition for Letters of Admin (probate). Judge dismissed b/c filed in wrong county. Can't get answers from bank about who owns the debt. . . getting the run around.

    1) If collection lawyer bought the debt, can trustees negotiate a lower amount?
    2) can we dispute the debt (paying nothing at all)?
    3) can trust(ees) be sued?
    4) what's statute of limitation on creditors ability to collect debt?
    5) what is our best course of action?

    flyingron's response: It depends upon the trust. If the trust was a LIVING TRUST the debts are recoverable as if the trust assets were just part of the estate.

    1. You can try negotiating w/the debtor, but if the trust has assets enough to pay in full all debts, he'd be a fool to accept less.
    2. You can dispute the debt, but if the debt is valid it will do no good.
    3. The trust will be sued and the trustees will be named in the suit, so yes.
    4. Same as collecting debts in general. Typically four years, but depends on the nature of the debt.
    5. Pay the legitimate debts.

    I found new info on: #4. "For claims against a decedent's estate there is a 1-year statute of limitations under CCP 366.2, stating that any claims against a decedent must be brought within a year of the decedent's death or they are forever barred." Lawyer filed suit in July 2012. I believe it is too late, since statute has run out. Can anyone verify?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    25,822

    Default Re: Claim Against Decedent's Estate - 1yr Statute of Limitation Run Out

    so, has anybody received letters of administration?

    Can't get answers from bank about who owns the debt. .
    unless you have been appointed administrator or executor, they have no obligation to speak with you at all since you have no authority to act on behalf of the estate.





    1) If collection lawyer bought the debt, can trustees negotiate a lower amount?
    the trustees? What do the trustees have to do with an estate debt?


    2) can we dispute the debt (paying nothing at all)?
    do you have a legal right to act on behalf of the estate?

    3) can trust(ees) be sued?
    Is the trust liable for estate debts?

    4) what's statute of limitation on creditors ability to collect debt?



    on a living debtor, 4 years. On a deceased debtor, not sure but I believe the death tolls the time.

    5) what is our best course of action?
    first, figure out who has authority to act on behalf of the estate. Then, through probate, pay the debts you have to and can pay. Tell the rest there is no more money.
    I am not an attorney and any advice is not to be construed as legal advice. You might even want to ignore my advice. Actually, there are plenty of real attorneys that you might want to ignore as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    457

    Default Re: Claim Against Decedent's Estate - 1yr Statute of Limitation Run Out

    What is a "Trust admin?" The trustee of father's living trust? Trustee received a collection notice but just ignored it? A petition to open probated was filed and then dismissed... and then nothing more was done?

    Lots of questions here, but I will point out that CCP 366.2 also states:

    (b)The limitations period provided in this section for commencement of an action shall not be tolled or extended for any reason except as provided in any of the following, where applicable:

    (1)Sections 12, 12a, and 12b of this code.

    (2)Part 4 (commencing with Section 9000) of Division 7 of the Probate Code (creditor claims in administration of estates of decedents).

    (3)Part 8 (commencing with Section 19000) of Division 9 of the Probate Code (payment of claims, debts, and expenses from revocable trust of deceased settlor).


    (4)Part 3 (commencing with Section 21300) of Division 11 of the Probate Code (no contest clauses).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Claim Against Decedent's Estate - 1yr Statute of Limitation Run Out

    Thanks for the response. So, there was no probate. Living Trust + Heggstedt. "who has authority to act on behalf of the estate? I do. Trust admin = me. Not really asking all of the old questions again, only asking for clarification on #4. Main point is creditor is coming after assets after 1 yr deadline as per SOL. Hope I explained ti better this time.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yes, and the creditor did file a claim. Actually 2 claims: First, an erroneous one that was in wrong county, thus dismissed (thrown out). And the 2 time filed correctly but after the 1 yr SOL.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
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    71,820

    Default Re: Claim Against Decedent's Estate - 1yr Statute of Limitation Run Out

    Starting with the statute of limitations for claims against a deceased person,
    Quote Quoting California Code of Civil Procedure, Sec. 366.2
    (a) If a person against whom an action may be brought on a liability of the person, whether arising in contract, tort, or otherwise, and whether accrued or not accrued, dies before the expiration of the applicable limitations period, and the cause of action survives, an action may be commenced within one year after the date of death, and the limitations period that would have been applicable does not apply.

    (b) The limitations period provided in this section for commencement of an action shall not be tolled or extended for any reason except as provided in any of the following, where applicable:

    (1) Sections 12, 12a, and 12b of this code.

    (2) Part 4 (commencing with Section 9000) of Division 7 of the Probate Code (creditor claims in administration of estates of decedents).

    (3) Part 8 (commencing with Section 19000) of Division 9 of the Probate Code (payment of claims, debts, and expenses from revocable trust of deceased settlor).

    (4) Part 3 (commencing with Section 21300) of Division 11 of the Probate Code (no contest clauses).

    (c) This section applies to actions brought on liabilities of persons dying on or after January 1, 1993.
    Turning to Part 8 of the Probate Code,
    Quote Quoting California Probate Code, Sec. 19253.
    (a) A claim barred by the statute of limitations may not be allowed by the trustee.

    (b) The filing of a claim tolls the statute of limitations otherwise applicable to the claim until the trustee gives notice of allowance or rejection.

    (c) The allowance of a claim further tolls the statute of limitations as to the part of the claim allowed until the allowed portion of the claim is paid.

    (d) Notwithstanding the statute of limitations otherwise applicable to a claim, if an action on a rejected claim is not commenced or if the matter is not referred to a referee or to arbitration within the time prescribed in Section 19255, it is forever barred.
    From what you appear to be stating, the creditor properly filed a claim against the trust shortly after the trustor's death, and after discussion with your lawyer you as trustee chose to ignore that claim - you did not pay it but you also did not reject it. It thus appears that the one year statute of limitations was tolled for a period of time, between the time the claim was submitted to you and the time you finally told the creditor, "I'm not going to honor your claim."

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