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How long do creditors have to file claims against Virginia estates?

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2023 | Estate Administration And Probate |

Those who create estate plans often include specific inheritances for the people closest to them. Even if someone didn’t have a will, their close family members will typically inherit their property under intestate succession laws. However, it will usually be quite some time before individual beneficiaries receive their full inheritance after someone dies. The personal representative or executor of the estate first needs to complete the Virginia probate process and fulfill someone’s personal responsibilities.

Any financial obligations owed by the descendant will pass to their estate. The representative will have to pay taxes using estate resources and also pay someone’s personal debts. Credit card balances, student loans and medical bills from someone’s file treatment can all diminish what beneficiaries receive from their estate. How long will people typically need to wait for creditor claims before receiving their inheritance after someone dies in Virginia?

Creditors could have years to make claims

The type of creditor claim determines how long an individual creditor has to make an estate claim after someone dies. Virginia law allows for the continued attempt to collect on a debt for up to three years on open accounts and oral contracts and for up to five years on written contracts, including credit cards.

That could mean waiting an inordinate amount of time to receive property from someone’s estate, but the representative of the estate can expedite the process. They can send notice to known creditors and publish notice in local newspapers about probate proceedings. That will then speed up the timeline and limit creditors to possibly as little as 60 days to make their claim against their estate.

Provided that the representative of an estate knows and fulfills their obligations, they can significantly reduce the amount of time that people have to wait to receive their share of an estate. When people understand what to expect from the probate process, they are less likely to become angry or upset about delays and other challenges during the probate process. Seeking legal guidance to learn more about Virginia estate laws can benefit those tasked with estate administration and also those hoping to inherit from an estate.