Part 21 Probate in Washington, DC: Claims Against Revocable Trusts
In our previous post, we told you about filing a Notice of Revocable Trust and how to open this type of proceeding. In this post, brought to you by the Gormley Law Office, we’re discussing claims against revocable trusts.
A revocable trust allows the grantor to modify the trust but it cannot be revoked after death. The trust is subject to claims after the settlor’s death to the extent the estate outside of the trust doesn’t cover things like creditor claims, costs of administration of the settlor’s estate, the expenses of the deceased settlor’s funeral and disposal of remains, and statutory allowances to a surviving spouse and children.
There is a time limit, however, in which creditors and other interested persons may file claims against the trust. Creditors and interested persons have six months from the first date of publication of the Notice of Existence of Revocable Trust. The trustee responds to any claims by filing a Notice of Action Taken on Claim.
The claimant may file a petition for payment from the trust if the trustee takes no action on a claim, allows a claim but fails to pay it within a reasonable time, or disallows a claim. These petitions must be initiated by the earliest of (1) one year from the date of death of the deceased settlor or (2) six months from the date of first publication of the Notice of Existence of Revocable Trust or (3) 90 days after the trustee sends a person with a potential cause of action a copy of the trust instrument and a notice informing the person of the trust’s existence, the trustee’s name and address, and the time allowed for commencing a proceeding.
If there are no claims or petitions filed, the Probate Division typically closes these cases administratively within a year of opening the case.
As always, if you have questions about trusts, claims or any probate matter, you can contact our office for a consultation about your specific circumstances.