Statutes of Limitation for Probate
There are many different laws on the books at the local and state level associated with statutes of limitation. Some of these statutes relate directly to the probate process. Did you know that if you wait too long, you cannot bring forward certain types of claims? Most people know that this applies in various types of cases, but the statute of limitations from one type of case to another can vary.
The time limit for someone to bring a personal injury case, for example, might be different than the maximum amount of time allowed for will contests. Given these specific timelines, you should always do your research first before trying to start any particular type of case in Pennsylvania. Your attorney is your advocate and supporter during this time and should be trusted with your questions.
It is important for anyone who is serving as an estate executor, named as a beneficiary in a recent estate or a person who is putting together their estate plan to understand these statutes of limitations and how they might influence the estate administration process.
A will's probate is conclusive regarding any property that is distributed unless the probate order is amended or appealed as outlined under Pennsylvania probate statutes 20 Pa. C.S. 3133 and 3138. A Pennsylvania statutes of limitation probate lawyer is there to advise any people if they believe that the statutes of limitation have been exceeded.
A statutes of limitation probate attorney in Pennsylvania, will know that a later will could always be submitted for probate, and that there are many different confusing and complex aspects of closing out an estate. The register in Pennsylvania could update a probate order if a later will is sent in for probate within three months after the decedent has passed away.
The amendment will become retroactively effective if accepted by the register to the date of the initial probate. This is outlined under existing Pennsylvania probate statute 20 Pa. C.S. 313a. For this reason, anyone who intends to bring a challenge or contest regarding the will has to do so to the Orphan's Court no later than one year following the decree of probate.
This is known as the appeals of the probate of a will. However, the probate appeal period could be shortened to three months under 20 Pa. C.S. 908a if a party in interest has petitioned the court and received official approval to do so. Following 21 years after the decedent's death, the application must be made directly to an Orphan's Court in order to obtain a grant of letters. This will only be granted when cause has been shown, as outlined under 20 Pa. C.S. 3152.
Anyone who has questions about eligibility to bring forward a legal claim or initiate a probate dispute, questioning the validity of a will, must gather this information and present it to an experienced attorney sooner rather than later. Failing to do so could leave that person exposed to the dangers of the statute of limitations, meaning that the case has exceeded the time limit allowed and will no longer be accepted by the courts.
This can be a very frustrating situation for a person who believes they have compelling evidence that the original probate was inaccurate and should have been appealed. But time is of the essence and a consultation with a knowledgeable lawyer should be sought as soon as possible after an issue has been raised. Proper administration of probate needs to be initiated as soon as possible after the person has passed away and documentation and organization are key.