Q: Can niece sue for the missing inheritance after all these years? Grandmother was in charge of money.
My niece is 38 yrs old, parents died in accident at 15 months old. Money was left for her, but didn't know. Has a statute of limitations run out on her ability to get restitution? Thank you for any help you can give me so we can guide her in whether to pursue civil action.
The answer to your questions would depend on a number of facts that are not included in your question. For example, was the money was left in a trust and, if so, what did the trust document say the money had to be used for? If the money was left in a trust and the trust document said the money needed to be used for your niece's care, maintenance, education, etc., and the money was in fact used for those legitimate uses, then there may be nothing your niece can do.
There are different statutes of limitation for different legal claims so, depending on what your niece sues for (which legal claims she asserts), there will be different limitation periods, most of which have passed already, since it has been 30+ years. However, there is something called "tolling", which is a temporary suspension of the statute of limitations period. If your niece just recently learned about the fact she was left money, she MIGHT be able to argue the statute was tolled, so she still has time to sue. The tolling determination will depend on specific facts in your niece's situation. Have your niece contact a estate planning litigator (someone familiar with estate planning laws who handles lawsuits) and give that attorney more detailed information about how and when your niece learned of the money and. if applicable, bring a copy of the trust document stating how the money can be used. Best wishes!
Nina Whitehurst agrees with this answer
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.