14-3108. Probate, testacy and appointment proceedings; ultimate time limit

An informal probate or appointment proceeding or formal testacy or appointment proceeding, other than a proceeding to probate a will previously probated at the testator's domicile and appointment proceedings relating to an estate in which there has been a prior appointment, shall not be commenced more than two years after the decedent's death, except:

1. If a previous proceeding was dismissed because of doubt about the fact of the decedent's death, appropriate probate, appointment or testacy proceedings may be maintained at any time thereafter upon a finding that the decedent's death occurred prior to the initiation of the previous proceeding and the applicant or petitioner has not delayed unduly in initiating the subsequent proceeding.

2. Appropriate probate, appointment or testacy proceedings may be maintained in relation to the estate of an absent, disappeared or missing person for whose estate a conservator has been appointed, at any time within two years after the conservator becomes able to establish the death of the protected person.

3. A proceeding to contest an informally probated will and to secure appointment of the person with legal priority for appointment in the event the contest is successful may be commenced within the later of twelve months from the informal probate or two years from the decedent's death.

4. An informal probate or appointment or a formal testacy or appointment proceeding may be commenced thereafter if no court proceeding concerning the succession or administration has occurred within the two year period. If proceedings are brought under this exception, the personal representative has no right to possess estate assets as provided in section 14-3709 beyond that necessary to confirm title thereto in the rightful successors to the estate. Claims other than expenses of administration shall not be presented against the estate.

These limitations do not apply to proceedings to construe probated wills or determine heirs of an intestate. In cases under paragraph 1 or 2 of this section, the date on which a testacy or appointment proceeding is properly commenced shall be deemed to be the date of the decedent's death for purposes of other limitations provisions of this title which relate to the date of death.