Probate & Trust Litigation

A resource for lawyers and the public in Massachusetts and New Hampshire for information on will contests, trust disputes, guardianships, conservatorships, elder exploitation, fiduciary duty claims, and other probate litigation disputes.

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Skrizowski: A Potential Trap For Creditors

A creditor’s receipt of partial payments of a debt of the decedent before expiration of the twelve month deadline to file suit under RSA 556:5 may not be sufficient to bind the administrator to pay the claim. In Skrizowski v. Chandler, 133 N.H. 502 (1990), it appears that the administrators set up the creditor for denial of the claim by timely making monthly payments on the promissory note and then promptly stopping on expiration of the one year limitations period of RSA 556:5. The administrators then refused to honor the creditor’s demands for payment on grounds that the creditor had failed to file suit within the limitations period. On appeal, the Court held that the creditor had to seek relief under RSA 556:28. Counsel representing creditors should bear Skrizowski in mind and be careful in drawing comfort from installment payments.

(Note: Ralph Holmes is currently retired from McLane Middleton. For information on this or other probate litigation issues, please contact Alexandra Cote at