SB 43 – FINAL VERSION
SENATE BILL 43
This bill clarifies the law regarding the administration of estates of persons presumed dead.
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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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.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 the administration of estates of persons presumed dead.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
280:1 Probate Courts; Jurisdiction. Amend RSA 547:3, I(b) to read as follows:
(b) The granting of administration and all matters and things of probate jurisdiction relating to the composition, administration, sale, settlement, and final distribution of estates of deceased persons, including the establishment of death of a person presumed dead and assignment of homestead and claims against the executor or administrator for those services related to the prior care and maintenance of the decedent and the administration of insolvent estates and appeals therefrom.
280:2 Administration of Estates. The subdivision heading preceding RSA 553:18 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:
Administration of Estate of Person Presumed Dead
280:3 Administration of Estates. RSA 553:18 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:
553:18 Administration of Estate of Person Presumed Dead.
I. The judge, following a hearing, may appoint an administrator of the estate of a person, with such limitations and powers as the judge deems appropriate:
(a) Presumed dead pursuant to RSA 553:19, I; or
(b) Who has left his or her home and has not been heard of or from directly or
indirectly for 6 months and whom the judge believes to be dead.
II. Prior to appointment of an administrator of the estate of a person not heard of, notice shall be published in a newspaper with statewide distribution which is also published on the Internet and one printed in the county in which the person had last lived for one year. Such notice shall be published at least once per week for 4 consecutive weeks. Such other notice shall be given to relatives as the judge may order. The notice shall give the name, age, and such other characteristics and descriptions as shall identify the person, and shall call for information concerning him or her.
280:4 Administration of Estates. RSA 553:19 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:
553:19 Presumption of Death. In the absence of a death certificate, the fact of death may be established after an evidentiary hearing if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence:
I. That the person is presumed to have been killed as a result of some catastrophic event but his or her body could not be recovered; or
II. That the person has been absent for a continuous period of 4 years, during which time he or she has not been heard of or from, and whose absence is not satisfactorily explained after diligent search or inquiry. The individual’s death is presumed to have occurred at the end of the period unless there is sufficient evidence for determining that death occurred earlier.
280:5 Uniform Simultaneous Death Act; Evidence of Death. Amend RSA 563:5, V to read as follows:
V. An individual whose death is not established[
,] under the preceding paragraphs who is absent for a continuous period of [ 7] 4 years, during which time that individual has not been heard from, and whose absence is not satisfactorily explained after diligent search or inquiry, is presumed to be dead. The individual’s death is presumed to have occurred at the end of the period unless there is sufficient evidence for determining that death occurred earlier.
280:6 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2006.
(Approved: July 22, 2005)
(Effective Date: January 1, 2006)