Creditors have one year after death to collect on debts owed by the decedent. For example, if the decedent owed $10,000.00 on a credit card, the card-holder must file a claim within a year of death, or the debt will become uncollectable.

A creditor can file a request for relief from the one-year statute of limitations directly to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. If the Court decides that the claim has merit and that the creditor was not negligent in failing to file on time, it may allow the creditor to file a late claim.

This one-year statute does not apply to debts incurred after the person died, such as funeral services, post-death house repairs, or an obligation that was not due and payable until after the person died. If you are an executor or administrator, you should contact a knowledgeable attorney for advice on this topic, before paying or denying any claim against the estate.

 Boston MetroWest estate planning lawyer, Attorney Jennifer Taddeo is located in Franklin, Massachusetts. She concentrates her practice in Massachusetts estate planning and probate and trust administration. She works with clients to develop and implement estate plans that reflect both their financial and personal goals. If you have questions regarding estate planning, please contact Attorney Jennifer Taddeo.