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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: October 17, 2018 04:18 PM
From: Senator Patrick M. Browne
To: All Senate members
Subject: Joint State Government Commission Report of the Advisory Committee on Decedents’ Estates Laws - Proposed Amendments to Title 20

I intend to introduce legislation recommended by the February, 2018 Joint State Government Commission’s Report of the Advisory Committee on Decedents’ Estates Laws.

The Advisory Committee on Decedents’ Estates Laws convened in October 2017 and recommended amendments to current law and pending legislation in their February, 2018 report (attached). The report contains proposals to amend 20 Pa.C.S. Chapters 33 (relating to administration and personal representatives), 56 (relating to powers of attorney), 75 (relating to limitations on exercise of trustee powers of beneficiaries to appoint trustees), 76 (relating to powers of appointment), and 77 (relating to trusts), as well as Senate Bill 884.

The proposed amendments to Title 20 would do the following:

Chapter 56:
  • Adds references to Adult Protective Services Act, which is a more recent enactment that supplements the earlier Older Adults Protective Services Act
  • Enacts statutory standing for judicial relief

Chapter 76:
  • Adds a section relating to creditors rights, to more completely codify existing case law
Chapters 33 and 77:

  • Authorizes a settlor and testator to split the responsibilities of co-fiduciaries so that some could have powers the others do not
  • Those co-fiduciaries who do not have those powers would be exonerated from liability for the exercise or non-exercise of those powers by the co-fiduciaries who are assigned those powers

Senate Bill 884 (2017-18 Session):
  • Requires approval of compromises and settlements of claims by or against an estate via a guardian to be approved by the orphans’ court division that has jurisdiction of the guardianship.
  • Counsel fees and other expenses would require the same approval
  • This approval would be mandated regardless of whether litigation is pending
Chapter 75:

  • Corrects a glitch in the effective date provision in section 7504(c)(2)

View Attachment

Introduced as SB1115