Code of the District of Columbia

§ 20–903. Limitation on presentation of claims against the estate.

(a) Requirement of presentation; time; limitation. — Except as otherwise expressly provided by statute with respect to claims of the United States and the District of Columbia, (1) all claims against a decedent’s estate, whether due or to become due, absolute or contingent, liquidated or unliquidated, founded on contract or other legal basis, shall be barred against the estate, the personal representative, and the heirs and legatees, unless presented within 6 months after the date of the first publication of notice of the appointment of a personal representative; and (2) all claims against the estate based on the conduct of or a contract with a personal representative shall be barred unless an action is commenced against the estate within 6 months of the date the claim arose.

(b) Liens not affected. — Nothing in this section shall affect or prevent any action or proceeding to enforce any mortgage, pledge, judgment, or other recorded or otherwise perfected security interest on property of the estate.

(c) Action instituted before death. — Nothing in this section shall affect any action that was commenced against the decedent if the decedent had been duly served with process before death; provided, however, that the personal representative shall not be personally liable on account of having paid a claim or distributed assets, without taking into consideration claims prosecuted in accordance with this subsection if, at the time of payment or distribution (1) the personal representative had no actual knowledge of such claim, and (2) the claimant had not timely presented such claim in accordance with section 20-905.

(d) Claims covered by insurance. — Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, no claim that survives death shall be barred if: (1) the claimant commences an action against the estate within the period of limitations generally applicable to such causes of action; (2) the decedent was covered by a liability insurance policy at the time of the occurrence on which the claim is based; and (3) the subject matter of the claim is within the scope of that policy; provided, that in that cause of action recovery shall be limited to amounts payable under such liability insurance policy.


(June 24, 1980, D.C. Law 3-72, § 101, 27 DCR 2155.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 20-903.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 19-1305.05, § 20-905, and § 20-908.