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My mother was the beneficiary of a will but was denied what she was owed. I am now the executor of her estate. Can I sue?

Falls Church, VA |

My mother has recently died . The will in question was her fathers , who passed away in the early 60s . Is there a time limit for beneficiaries to receive what they are owed from a will ?

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Attorney answers 4


Though this happened long ago, there are many things that may have happened that cannot be guessed based upon the limited information that you provided.

First, there may not have been enough in the estate to satisfy the bequests in a will. Second, if your mother was a minor at the time, bequests to her would have been under the control of her mother or guardian or a named trustee. Third, the will may not have been probated at all. Fourth, if there was property involved, you may find that she is listed as owner based upon a list of heirs filed with the Court or the will being probated upon her father's death.

There are a lot of potential issues and some possible ways to at least investigate to see what may have happened and if the estate has assets which you have a duty to inquire about in your current role as executor of her estate.

Please note that this response is based upon the limited information available in the question. In addition, it is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship and is offered only as general information and not as legal advice.


If I understand correctly, you are asking if you can sue someone today for actions taken or not taken 50 years ago.

I'm thinking that you need to let this go, remember your mom fondly, and settle her estate.

The above is not intended to be legal advice, but may be used for general information. Please contact an attorney for specific help tailored to your needs.



Even if it's land that could potentially be worth over a million dollars?


The time has past for a claim.

The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.


There is not necessarily a time limit to receive what you are owed under a Will. There is, however, a time limit to contest this, if you do not receive it. Probate statutes of limitations are generally much shorter than other statutes. A quick search on the internet suggests that the applicable statute in Virginia is either 6 months or 1 year. I agree with my colleagues that this is something you are not going to be able to pursue.

James Frederick

***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!

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