SB 168 – FINAL VERSION
SENATE BILL 168
This bill changes bonding requirements and certain other requirements for the administration of estates.
This bill was requested by the administrative judge of the probate court.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Five
AN ACT relative to administration of estates.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
252:1 Bond. RSA 553:13 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:
I. Except as provided in RSA 553:32, no person shall administer the estate of a person deceased until such person has given bond to the judge, with sufficient sureties, in such reasonable sum as the judge shall approve, or, in lieu of a bond, other forms of security acceptable to the judge, upon condition:
(a) To return to the judge a true and perfect inventory of the estate of the deceased, upon oath, within 90 days from the date of appointment.
(b) To administer the estate according to law.
(c) To render to the judge an account of administration, upon oath, within one year, and annually thereafter unless excused by the judge or as provided by law, until a final account is filed and allowed.
(d) To pay all taxes for which such person may be or become liable under RSA 87.
(e) To pay and deliver the rest and residue of the estate upon allowance of the final account or motion for summary administration which shall be found remaining to the residuary legatee or legatees under the will or distributee or distributees of the intestate estate.
(f) To deliver the certificate of appointment into the court of probate if a subsequent appointment is granted.
II. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph I, when the estate has a gross value of $25,000 or less, only a personal bond without sureties will be required.
III. In the discretion of the judge, the requirements for the giving of bond and sureties or other forms of security may be waived.
IV. The judge may at any time or upon motion of an administrator or beneficially interested person, require a further bond, with sufficient sureties, or reduce an existing bond, if the judge determines it is appropriate under the circumstances.
252:2 Publication of Notice of Appointment. Amend RSA 553:16 to read as follows:
553:16 Publication of Notice of Appointment. Upon appointment of an administrator [
or executor], the register of probate shall, within 15 days of such appointment, cause notice thereof to be published in accordance with the provisions of RSA 550:10. Notwithstanding the foregoing, no publication of notice shall be required [ in the administration of small estates under RSA 553:31] when the estate has a gross value of $10,000 or less.
252:3 Waiver of Administration. Amend RSA 553:32 to read as follows:
553:32 Waiver of Administration.
I. In this section, “fiduciary” shall mean any executor or administrator, including voluntary administrator, special administrator, administrator with will annexed (hereafter administrator w.w.a.), and administrator de bonis non.]
II.] I. Notwithstanding any provision of law, whenever a deceased dies testate and the surviving spouse or, if no spouse, an only child is named in the will as the sole beneficiary of the deceased’s estate and is appointed to serve as [ fiduciary] administrator; or whenever a deceased dies intestate and the surviving spouse or, if no spouse, an only child is the sole heir of the deceased’s estate and is appointed to serve as [ fiduciary] administrator, there shall be no requirement for an inventory of the estate, no requirement for a bond, and no requirement for an accounting for assets. Administration of the estate shall be completed upon the [ fiduciary’s] administrator’s filing, and the probate court’s approval of an affidavit of administration. Such filing shall occur not less than 6 months nor more than one year after the date of appointment of the [ fiduciary] administrator. The affidavit of administration shall state that to the best of the knowledge and belief of the [ fiduciary] administrator there are no outstanding debts or obligations attributable to the deceased’s estate and shall list all real estate owned by the decedent at the time of death, including the location, book, and page. If the [ fiduciary] administrator fails to file the affidavit of administration within the time prescribed above, the [ fiduciary] administrator is in default. The register of probate shall give notice of the default to the [ fiduciary] administrator by first class mail within 10 days after the default. The register of probate shall issue a citation notice in accordance with RSA 548:5-a.
III.] II. Any interested person may petition for a full administration of the estate at any time from the original grant of administration to the filing of the affidavit of administration, and such petition may be granted by the probate court for good cause shown.
IV.] III. Disclaimer, ademption of legacies, or declination to serve as executor may be effectively used to cause the estate to conform to the requirements of paragraph [ II] I.
V.] IV. A guardian may be appointed as [ fiduciary] administrator if the ward qualifies under the provisions of this section.
VI.] V. If the [ fiduciary] administrator is unable to complete the administration of the estate, administration may be completed in accordance with this section by the successor [ fiduciary] administrator.
VII. If both this section and RSA 553:31 are applicable to an estate, the fiduciary may elect under which section to proceed.]
252:4 Summary Administration; Reference Deleted. Amend RSA 553:33, I to read as follows:
I. This section shall apply to all estates, testate and intestate, other than those estates governed by [
RSA 553:31 and] RSA 553:32.
252:5 Appraiser. Amend RSA 554:3 to read as follows:
One] Appraiser. The judge may appoint [ only] one [ appraiser] or more appraisers, if in [ his] the opinion of the judge the nature of the property or the size of the estate makes it advisable [ so] to do so.
252:6 Reference Deleted; Nursing Home Administrators; Patient Accounts. Amend RSA 151-A:15, I to read as follows:
I. If 30 days after the date of a testate or intestate patient's death in any nursing home no petition for probate has yet been filed under any section of RSA 553 and the gross value of the personal property remaining at the nursing home belonging to the deceased, including any amount left in a patient account, is no more than $2,500, the nursing home administrator may file in the probate court an affidavit for the purpose of disposing of such deceased patient's estate. [
In such cases, the nursing home administrator shall not be subject to the provisions of RSA 553:31.] The form of the affidavit, and the rules governing proceedings under this section, shall be provided by the probate court pursuant to RSA 547:33 and RSA 548:8. The nursing home administrator shall not file a death certificate with the probate court, but shall attest to the death in the affidavit. If the nursing home patient died testate, the nursing home administrator shall file the will in the probate court. The probate court shall waive all filing fees.
252:7 Reference Deleted; Trustees of Estates; Bonds. Amend the introductory paragraph of RSA 564:1 to read as follows:
564:1 Bonds. Every trustee to whom any estate, real or personal, is devised in trust for any person shall give bond to the judge of probate, with sufficient sureties, or without sureties in estates of five thousand dollars or less where the judge finds it in the interest of the estate, in such sum as the judge may order, except as provided in RSA 564:2 [
and in RSA 553:15], conditioned:
252:8 Property Not to be Sold. Amend RSA 554:9 to read as follows:
554:9 Property Not to be Sold.
I. Personal property specifically bequeathed shall not be sold, if not needed for the payment of debts; and any property may be reserved at the sale, unless so needed, for the benefit or upon the request of the heirs or legatees, and the administrator shall be discharged by delivery thereof to the persons entitled thereto.
II. At any time after the appointment of the administrator, without petition to the court, a single motor vehicle registered in this state in the decedent’s name, if used for family purposes, may be transferred by the administrator to a legatee or heir, if not needed for the payment of debts.
252:9 Repeal. The following are repealed:
I. RSA 553:14, relative to where executor is residuary legatee.
II. RSA 553:15, relative to exemption under will.
III. RSA 553:31, relative to administration of small estates.
IV. RSA 554:2, relative to appraisers.
252:10 Applicability. This act shall apply to the estates of persons who die on or after January 1, 2006.
252:11 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2006.
(Approved: July 14, 2005)
(Effective Date: January 1, 2006)