Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back

Know The Law: Getting Credit - Creditor Claim Process and Deadlines

Written by: Andrea J. Schweitzer

Published in the Union Leader (8/1/2021)

Q: Before my mom died, I took care of her.  I spent about 10 hours per week providing caregiving services and coordinating medical visits and a schedule of visiting nurses.  My mom repeatedly said that I would be compensated for my time.  Now, my sister refuses to reimburse me for expenses incurred or to allow the estate to pay me for caregiving services I provided to our mother.  What should I do?

A: Where you are seeking compensation for services rendered to a decedent, your request constitutes a creditor claim against the estate.  For your claim to be valid, you are not required to file an appearance or a notice of a claim with the probate court.  Rather, within six months of the original grant of administration, a creditor must present (“exhibit”) a demand to the estate’s administrator or his agent by registered mail, setting forth the nature and amount of the claim and making a demand for payment.  RSA 556:2.  After exhibition, if the debt remains unpaid, a creditor may file suit.  But, suit cannot be filed within the first six months of the grant of administration and must be filed within one year of the grant of administration.  The six month exhibition period is exclusive of the time such administration may have been suspended. 

Procedural requirements relative to creditor claims are governed by strict adherence to Chapter 556, and even actual knowledge of the claim by the administrator is not a defense to a late filing.  If a creditor fails to meet six-month demand or one-year suit deadlines, however, she may petition the court under RSA 556:28 for an extension.  The court will only allow additional time for filing and prosecuting the claim if the court determines that justice and equity require it, and that the claimant is not chargeable with culpable neglect in not bringing her suit or claim within the time provided by law.

Consider also the application of New Hampshire’s long-term non-claim statute, RSA 556:29, which imposes a two-year limitation period for creditors to reach a decedent’s real estate or interests therein to satisfy claims against the estate.  That is, if a probate administration is not opened within two years from the decedent’s death, creditors are barred from filing a claim against the decedent’s real estate or interests therein.  In New Hampshire, creditors are allowed to petition to open a probate estate.

A.J. Schweitzer can be reached at [email protected].

Know the Law is a bi-weekly column sponsored by McLane Middleton.  Questions and ideas for future columns should be emailed to [email protected].  Know the Law provides general legal information, not legal advice.  We recommend that you consult a lawyer for guidance specific to your particular situation.

Integrity and trust

At McLane Middleton we establish and maintain long-standing relationships with our clients to help us better achieve their unique goals over time. This approach to building trust requires that our esteemed lawyers and professionals use their broad, in-depth knowledge and work together with integrity to ascertain sound resolutions to legal matters for their clients.

Strength in numbers

McLane Middleton is made up of more than 105 attorneys who represent a broad range of clients throughout the region, delivering customized solutions. As a firm we are recognized as having the highest legal ability rating. The firm is rated Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell and is recognized as one of the nation's leading law firms in Chambers USA. Our attorneys are distinguished leaders in their respective practice areas.

Meet Our People

Commitment and collaboration

McLane Middleton's versatile group of attorneys and paralegals become trusted authorities on each case through collaboration. We work with our clients to learn their individual needs first and foremost and, together, we develop comprehensive solutions to their specific legal matters. This approach helps us exceed our clients' expectations efficiently and effectively, client by client, case by case.

Practice Areas

A history of excellence

McLane Middleton was established in 1919 in New Hampshire, and has five offices across two states. However, deep historical roots don't allow you to become innate. Our firm is organized, technological, and knowledgeable. Our history means we are recognized. But our reputation is built on the highest quality of service and experience in very specific areas of law.

The Firm

Intelligence paired with action

Our team continuously seeks opportunities to enhance their professional development and put key learnings to action. The pursuit of further insight guides us to volunteer service opportunities, speaking engagements, and teaching roles. Our lawyers are sought after thought leaders across their industries, and recipients of leadership awards throughout the region.