One of the first determinations an attorney will make during the initial consultation with a prospective client concerns the “statute of limitations.” Whether a person has been injured in an accident or has reason to initiate a malpractice suit, his or her cause of action (the complaint that sets froth the grounds for the lawsuit) must be filed within a specified time after the cause of action first occurred. Those who have the right to sue must do so within a specified time period. If that time period has elapsed, the lawsuit may be dismissed for non-compliance with the statute of limitations. Thus, those who have been injured have every reason to consult with an attorney in a timely manner.
There is an important statute of limitations during a probate case. The personal representative, executor or executrix of the will, or if there is no will the administrator of the intestate estate, is required to file, mail and publish a notice to creditors. The notice to creditors is to be published once a week on two consecutive weeks in a newspaper qualified to accept and publish legal notices.
The decedent’s creditors are given a cut-off date in which to file their claims. Any creditor of the decedent missing this date is denied the right to sue the estate for the unpaid debt. This rule would not apply to certain debts. A mortgage debt is not barred. Nor is a tort claim, such as damages caused to someone else by the decedent in an automobile accident. All other creditors of the decedent must file their claims or they are barred by this statute of limitation.
An experienced probate attorney will know how to properly notice creditors so that the family of the decedent can know what debts must be paid or otherwise dealt with by the estate. An experienced probate attorney will know when to advise his client to deny claims that may be filed. Just because a creditor files a claim, that does not mean the creditor must be paid from the funds of the estate.
Don’t risk losing what you’re entitled to because you weren’t familiar with every aspect of the law. If you need an experienced probate attorney, contact Brent D. Coldiron, attorney at law, 1800 E. Memorial Road, Suite 106, Oklahoma City, OK 73131 or 2801 Parklawn Drive, Suite 503, Midwest City, OK 73110; telephone (405) 478-5655 and 737-2244. Brent has over 41 years experience handling a variety of legal matters, including probates, wills, trusts, business formation, elder law, Medicaid qualification for nursing home care, corporations, limited liability companies, and guardianships. Give Brent a call, he knows what to do!