How Long Do You Have to Sue an Executor?
Statutes of limitations are SHORT in Florida probates and estates! The first thing that you need to know is: are you suing the executor for something the dead person did? Are you suing the estate? Or………. are you suing the executor for something she did during estate administration? Hurry! Before the estate closes and you are left out. (To learn about WHO CAN BE EXECUTOR, click that link).
Understanding Probate Claims
Every right or possible lawsuit must be filed or asserted within the appropriate time frame. These time limitations to make claims are often referred to as statutes of limitations. You can read all about the statutes of limitations by clicking THIS LINK and reading Florida Law 95.11.
If you have a claim against a person who is now deceased, you are a creditor.
Part VII of the Florida Probate Code tells you all about creditor claims.
Creditor claims must be filed no later than 2 years after the decedent’s death. That’s Probate Law 733.710. That’s the MAXIMUM time you have to sue.
And you need a probate court proceeding open in Florida to file your Statement of Claim. Writing a letter won’t work.
Even if you are under the 2 year rule, you may have had to file a statement of claim earlier. There are 3 month statutes of limitations. See Probate Law 733.702. It depends on whether or not you got actual notice and when publication of notice to creditors was accomplished. 3 months? Yes !! 3 months.
But, what if you did not have a claim against a dead person? What if you want to sue your executor? How long do you have to sue an executor?
Probate Administration Claims and Suits
Here’s “almost” everything you need to know about suing your executor:
- In Florida probates, we call the estate executor the “Personal Representative”
- A Personal Representative has to take an oath and administer the estate
- You can read all about your rights as a beneficiary in two places
- First, read the Florida Probate Code which is a set of laws or statutes for the administration of estates and for personal representatives and beneficiaries
- Second, read the Florida Probate Rules
- Lastly, watch out for a petition for discharge
- The petition for discharge is typically the last, final document at the personal representative files to close out the estate
- In that petition, the personal representative gives notice about the administration and asks to be relieved from liability
- If you were served with that, you have 20 days (!!) to respond
- If the petition for discharge is contested, or challenged, you will have a trial
- So, get your evidence, documents and witnesses ready. You should know why you are suing the personal representative, how you will prove your case, and how much you are fighting over. For a probate contingency lawyer in Florida, consider reading this