Cullman, AL asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Alabama

Q: USB is suing my late husband's estate and now I can't sell it. It has been 12 yrs. How long is statute of limitations?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: The statute of limitations for debts and lawsuits can vary significantly depending on the type of claim and the state in which the lawsuit is filed. Generally, for debts, statutes of limitations range from 3 to 15 years. This timeframe dictates how long a creditor has to initiate legal action to collect a debt. If the lawsuit against your late husband's estate is related to a debt, the applicable statute would depend on the state law where the estate is being settled.

If USB is suing the estate 12 years after your husband's passing, it's essential to verify whether the claim is within the legal timeframe allowed by your state's statute of limitations. Sometimes, certain actions, like acknowledging the debt or making a payment, can reset the statute of limitations. However, without such actions, if the statute of limitations has expired, the lawsuit may not be enforceable.

Consulting with an attorney who specializes in estate law or debt collection issues in your state is crucial. They can provide specific advice based on the details of the lawsuit and the applicable laws. An attorney can also represent the estate's interests in court and potentially have the lawsuit dismissed if it's found to be beyond the statute of limitations.

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