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How long after probate can a creditor make a claim against an estate?

Atlanta, GA |

My mom died back in 2009, and we probated in solemn form, paid the debts, and gave whatever was left to the heirs. Now, two years later, we get a "statement of claim" from a bank saying we owe several thousand dollars. Do we (the heirs) have to pay this? The money in the estate is all gone. We followed procedure back in 2009 and published notice and everything. Can someone point me to the law saying whether it's too late for the bank to ask for this money?

Also, I was never discharged or anything, so I guess the estate is technically stiill open.

Ok, I just looked and we didn't probate in solemn form, there was no will. So we did "letters of administration"

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Attorney answers 1


Under GA law, creditors are not prevented from filing a claim but they lose their priority status if they were above a general creditor. After the time period (which I believe is 3 months after the creditor notice if filed for unknown creditors, but you are required to provide a direct notice to any known creditors) then the creditor gets in line with the general, unsecured creditors. If the estate assets have already been distributed and it has been at least 6 months since the estate has been, which it has in your case, then the creditor would be subject to the general statute of limitations laws in GA and would need to sue the beneficiaries directly to collect. I hope that helps.



That really helps. What would that statute of limitations be? Does it depend on the type of debt. And when would the time start running? THanks for all your help!

Richard Michael Morgan

Richard Michael Morgan


This is a technical question under state law and I recommend that you seek legal counsel to assist in this determination.