Act of Nov. 29, 2006, P.L. 1536, No. 171             Cl. 20
                             Session of 2006
                               No. 2006-171

     HB 665

                                  AN ACT

     Amending Title 20 (Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries) of the
        Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, further providing for the
        grant of letters of administration and for the administration
        of estates.

        The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
     hereby enacts as follows:

        Section 1.  Sections 3155 and 3311 of Title 20 of the
     Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes are amended to read:
      § 3155.  Persons entitled.
        (a)  Letters testamentary.--Letters testamentary shall be
     granted by the register to the executor designated in the will,
     whether or not he has declined a trust under the will.
        (b)  Letters of administration.--Letters of administration
     shall be granted by the register, in such form as the case shall
     require, to one or more of those hereinafter mentioned and,
     except for good cause, in the following order:
            (1)  Those entitled to the residuary estate under the
            (2)  The surviving spouse.
            (3)  Those entitled under the intestate law as the
        register, in his discretion, shall judge will best administer
        the estate, giving preference, however, according to the
        sizes of the shares of those in this class.
            (4)  The principal creditors of the decedent at the time
        of his death.
            (5)  Other fit persons.
            (6)  If anyone of the foregoing shall renounce his right
        to letters of administration, the register, in his
        discretion, may appoint a nominee of the person so renouncing
        in preference to the persons set forth in any succeeding
            (7)  A guardianship support agency serving as guardian of
        an incapacitated person who dies during the guardianship
        administered pursuant to Subchapter F of Chapter 55 (relating
        to guardianship support).
            (8)  A redevelopment authority formed pursuant to the act
        of May 24, 1945 (P.L.991, No.385), known as the Urban
        Redevelopment Law.
        (c)  Time limitation.--Except with the consent of those
     enumerated in paragraphs (1), (2) and (3), no letters shall be
     issued to those enumerated in [paragraphs (4) and (5)] paragraph
     (4), (5) or (8) of subsection (b) until [seven] 30 days after
     the decedent's death.
        (d)  Death charges.--Notwithstanding the provisions of
     subsections (a) and (b), the register shall not grant letters
     testamentary or letters of administration to any person charged,
     whether by indictment, information or otherwise, by the United
     States, the Commonwealth or any of the several states, with
     voluntary manslaughter or homicide, except homicide by vehicle,
     in connection with a decedent's death unless and until the
     charge is withdrawn, dismissed or a verdict of not guilty is
      § 3311.  Possession of real and personal estate; exception.
        (a)  Personal representative.--A personal representative
     shall have the right to and shall take possession of, maintain
     and administer all the real and personal estate of the decedent,
     except real estate occupied at the time of death by an heir or
     devisee with the consent of the decedent. He shall collect the
     rents and income from each asset in his possession until it is
     sold or distributed, and, during the administration of the
     estate, shall have the right to maintain any action with respect
     to it and shall make all reasonable expenditures necessary to
     preserve it. The court may direct the personal representative to
     take possession of, administer and maintain real estate so
     occupied by an heir or a devisee if this is necessary to protect
     the rights of claimants or other parties. Nothing in this
     section shall affect the personal representative's power to sell
     real estate occupied by an heir or devisee.
        (b)  Redevelopment authority.--A redevelopment authority
     granted letters of administration shall have the power to take,
     clear, combine or transfer title to real property of the estate
     as necessary to return such property to productive use, and upon
     payment of fair market value of the property in its current
     state, to the estate.
        Section 2.  This act shall take effect in 60 days.

     APPROVED--The 29th day of November, A. D. 2006.