Skip to Content

We are a Veteran Owned Business, providing 20% discounts for Veterans, First Responders, Elementary and High School teachers. Please contact us to set up a phone or Zoom meeting. Taking care of you and your family, It's What We Do!

Klenk Law

Is there a statute of limitations for estate creditors to come forward in PA?

Posted on Wed Jul 8, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: Statute of Limitations on Creditor Claims Against PA Estates

Most Recently Updated July 15, 2018.

“I am the executor of my Father’s estate in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. I want to distribute the estate assets according to the will. Is there a statute of limitations, or a time period for creditors making claims against the estate? If I distribute the assets, can I be held responsible if creditors make a claim?”

Statute of Limitations on Creditor Claims Against PA Estates

Statute of Limitations on Creditor Claims Against PA Estates

First, your father’s death did not end his obligation to pay unpaid bills. By taking on the job of executor you have the power and responsibility to assemble his assets and pay those bills. Compared to other states, Pennsylvania is rather creditor-friendly. If you have notice of a creditor, you are expected to address the claim. That being said, creditors cannot wait forever to make their claim. You trigger a one-year statute of limitations period for claims by properly advertising the estate.

Advertising the Estate

The Delaware County Register of Wills has posted information about how to advertise the estate properly so this statue of limitations period begins. If you make a distribution of estate assets before the end of the one-year time period, and a creditor later makes a timely claim, you can be help personally responsible to address that debt.

What you should do?

That is why it is important that you retain an experienced Delaware County Probate Attorney who will obtain a binding obligation on the heirs to return early distributions should a valid creditor appear. Your Probate Lawyer is there to keep you out of trouble!

After the one-year time limit, you can make distributions and if a creditor later makes a claim, you are not responsible. There are some exceptions, such as your obligation to personally notify the Department of Public Welfare of your father’s death and inquire about any money he may owe them or the IRS. Make sure your father’s taxes were paid, as the IRS never goes away!

More Probate Questions?

Creditor claims are only part of the overall probate process. By all means, if you wish to learn more, please read my more detailed article, The Probate Process All You Need to Know.

In Conclusion: Statute of Limitations on Creditor Claims Against PA Estates

I hope that this article was helpful in explaining creditor claim statute of limitations. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website. Therefore, please contact me and let me know how I did. Certainly, your comments and questions are welcome!

Let our Probate Lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our experienced Probate Attorneys.  By all means, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Ultimately our goal is to make the process as painless as possible!

Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Estate Litigation, It’s All We Do

Tags:

creditor claims, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, Probate, Probate Attorney, Probate Lawyer

What Our clients are saying

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Great firm. Great people. Happy to refer folks in need to estate planning to Peter and his team. They do great work.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter Klenk is an extraordinary attorney with positive guidance and knowledge for all of your Trust and Estate needs. We have used him for over 20 years.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter is excellent. I had a very complicated situation with my parents' estate planning and potential Medicaid needs. Peter was very knowledgeable in estate planning matters, able to define the best solution for the situation. Additionally, he was congenial and able to communicate effectively to my senior citizen parents the benefits of estate planning. He earned my trust, and more importantly, my parents' trust in a 45 mins consultation period. Highly recommend Peter. He is very easy to work with.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter Klenk ESQ is a thoughtful and capable attorney who we work with on estate planning issues. His firm recently provided us with new Wills, Power of Attorneys and our instructions regarding major health issues. These documents are important for estate and life planning. Peter and his team are masters in the complexities of Estate Law. We highly recommend Peter and his Associates to provide thoughtful advice and outstanding work on these complex issues of the law. Make sure your estate planning documents are up to date, and Peter can be relied on to do an excellent job. Well done Peter!

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter came highly recommended by a close friend to do our estate planning. We have been putting off for years. He is knowledgeable, professional and easy to work with.

Let us put our expertise to work for you.

Free consultation within 24 hours.