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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: March 4, 2015 02:36 PM
From: Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf
To: All Senate members
Subject: Omnibus Title 20 amendments
In June 2010 the Joint State Government Commission issued a report entitled, “The Probate, Estates and Fiduciaries Code: Proposed Amendments to Title 20 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes.” The Advisory Committee on Decedents’ Estates Laws periodically recommends updates to the Probate, Estates and Fiduciaries Code based on court cases and changes in federal law. The June 2010 report reflects the advisory committee’s most recent set of omnibus revisions to Title 20.

I will be introducing legislation containing changes that were included in Senate Bill 621 of last session. The bill addresses several issues, including the following:

  • Codify the Charitable Instruments Act of 1971 as new 20 Pa.C.S. Chapter 79.
  • Make additional changes to the Uniform Trust Act.
  • Add Chapter 76 regarding powers of appointment.
  • Clarify provisions relating to when and how an estate may form a business entity.
  • Establish a new statutory framework regarding the release of powers and interests and the disclaimer of powers.
  • Clarify when a person submits to the jurisdiction of the orphan’s court.
  • Provide a method for determining title to a decedent’s interest in real estate.

The Joint State Government Commission’s Advisory Committee on Decedents’ Estates Laws is a standing group of attorneys and judges from across the Commonwealth who assist the General Assembly by recommending improvements to the Probate, Estates and Fiduciaries Code and related statutes. The advisory committee has been in existence since 1945 and is credited with drafting most of the laws relating to trusts and estates. After reaching consensus on its legislative recommendations, the advisory committee presents its recommendations to the Task Force on Decedents’ Estates Laws, which is a bicameral and bipartisan panel of legislators.

The Joint State Government Commission reports contain the advisory committee’s official comments explaining each amendment. The comments may be used in determining legislative intent.

Please join me in sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB1104