By Fred Franke
The Law Office of Frederick R. Franke, Jr. LLC
Effective October 1, 2015, the Maryland Trust Act provides statutory limitations on the presentation of claims against the decedent’s revocable trust.
Current statutory law does not address this issue. Many assumed that the general claims statute of Estates and Trusts §8 – 103 applied. Others believed that the general, but longer, three-year statute of limitations applied. The new Act clarifies the limitation periods.
Under the new statute, if either a regular or modified administration is commenced on behalf of a decedent, then the usual six-month limitation will apply. Both regular and modified administration require notice to be published. It is important to remember, however, that the six month period runs from the date of death not the date of the appointment of personal representative or of publication of the notice. This was the result of a U.S. Supreme Court case that determined that a short statute of limitations just for decedents’ estates violated a creditor’s due process rights if there was state involvement –such as appointment of personal representative by state agency. After that holding, many states, including Maryland, revised the triggering event to be the decedent’s death not any action by state agency. Tulsa Professional Collections Services, Inc. v. Pope, 485 U.S. 478 (1988).