What is the statute of limitations for opening an administration of an estate?

UPDATED: Aug 14, 2015

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What is the statute of limitations for opening an administration of an estate?

Asked on August 14, 2015 under Estate Planning, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

There are three possible periods in your state:

1) The most common one is four years, in the situation where there was reporting by the trustee (e.g. the executor or administrator), but the reporting was not 100% complete (didn't answer all questions), but even though it wasn't complete, the trustee made or stated he/she would make the full records available. This means that persons of interest (e.g. beneficiaries) have four years to request and go through the records.

2) If the reporting, including the final report was so thorough and complete as to answer any questions about the administration, then the statute of limitations is only 6 months; in this case, there is no reason why it should take much time to figure out if there have been a problem or not.

3) On the other hand, if there was essentially no reporting and records were not readily available, then the statute of limitations is essentially forever, though it looks like 40 years may be the ultimate limit on all possible cases.

Note that the statutory period may start running before the estate is fully administered: it starts when the interested party first became aware of, or reasonably should have become aware of, the breach.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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