HB 2085 Commissioners of accounts and fiduciaries.
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Commissioners of accounts; fiduciaries. Makes a number of changes to the law governing the responsibilities of commissioners of accounts and fiduciaries, upon recommendation of the Standing Committee on Commissioners of Accounts of the Judicial Council.

The commissioner's report of the results of his investigation of the adequacy of a fiduciary's bond is required to be filed with the clerk, as well as with the court. The bill also gives the clerk the same authority as the court to require new or additional bond in those cases where the fiduciary was qualified by order of the clerk.

Greater detail must be provided in the inventories required of personal representatives, guardians, curators and committees, and follow-up reports must be filed for assets discovered after the initial filing.

The bill also requires the creation and use of standardized forms for applications for qualification as a fiduciary, for accounting and for the inventory required of fiduciaries. The Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court is to create the forms and provide them to the clerks, who will then provide them to the fiduciaries. A computer-generated facsimile may be used in lieu of the form. The currently optional statutory form for testamentary trustees and other fiduciaries to use if filing an accounting with commissioners of accounts is repealed.

Commissioners of accounts are authorized to issue subpoenas duces tecum for documents or papers. As with the current power to subpoena persons, the commissioners may not punish for contempt for failure to produce.

The bill clarifies that sanctions may be imposed for a fiduciary's failure to file a full and proper account. Upon such failure the commissioner is given the authority to proceed by summons to the fiduciary with the court having authority to impose a fine of up to $500.

The fees to be paid to commissioners are specifically authorized to be set by the appointing court.

The requirement that the commissioner, upon request, return vouchers or evidence with his report is eliminated; whenever a request is made at the time of filing, the evidence must be returned. In addition, this bill grants the commissioner discretion to return the information even when a request is not made. The commissioner is granted the authority to destroy papers in his possession one year after confirmation of a final accounting.

The fiduciary's duty to invest is modified to eliminate the "reasonable diligence" standard in favor of a preference for the statutorily approved investments of fiduciaries and a requirement that, absent prior court approval, the fiduciary must demonstrate to the commissioner that it was necessary to make investments outside the statutory requirements and that it was reasonable under the circumstances to do so.

The bill clarifies that the six-month time for filing an account of a sale under a deed of trust begins to run on the date of sale specified in the required notice of sale.

In the case of a sale by trustee under a deed of trust, the duty to account for the proceeds to the commissioner is specified and the provision limiting his commission to five percent is modified to allow the trustee a reasonable commission.

The bill has a delayed effective date of July 1, 1998.

Full text:
01/14/97  House: Presented & ordered printed 971560837  pdf
02/02/97  House: Committee substitute printed 978339837-H1  pdf
03/04/97  House: Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB2085ER)  pdf
04/02/97  House: Reenrolled bill text (HB2085ER)  pdf
04/08/97  Governor: Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0842)  pdf

Senate amendments
Senate amendments engrossed
Governor's recommendation

01/14/97  House: Presented & ordered printed 971560837
01/14/97  House: Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/20/97  House: Assigned to C. J. sub-committee: 2
02/02/97  House: Reported from C. J. with substitute (20-Y 2-N)
02/02/97  House: Committee substitute printed 978339837-H1
02/02/97  House: Read first time
02/03/97  House: Read second time
02/03/97  House: Committee substitute agreed to 978339837-H1
02/03/97  House: Engrossed by House - com. sub. 978339837-H1
02/04/97  House: Read third time and passed House (96-Y 1-N)
02/04/97  House: VOTE: PASSAGE (96-Y 1-N)
02/04/97  House: Communicated to Senate
02/05/97  Senate: Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N)
02/05/97  Senate: Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/16/97  Senate: Reported from Courts of Justice w/amds. (13-Y 1-N 1-A)
02/17/97  Senate: Const. reading disp., passed by for the day (40-Y 0-N)
02/17/97  Senate: VOTE: CONST. READING DISPENSED (40-Y 0-N)
02/18/97  Senate: Passed by for the day
02/19/97  Senate: Read third time
02/19/97  Senate: Reading of amendments waived
02/19/97  Senate: Committee amendments agreed to
02/19/97  Senate: Engrossed by Senate as amended
02/19/97  Senate: Passed Senate with amendments (40-Y 0-N)
02/19/97  Senate: VOTE: PASSAGE (40-Y 0-N)
02/20/97  House: Placed on Calendar
02/20/97  House: Senate amendments agreed to by House (96-Y 0-N)
02/20/97  House: VOTE: ADOPTION (96-Y 0-N)
03/04/97  House: Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB2085ER)
03/07/97  House: Enrolled
03/07/97  House: Signed by Speaker
03/09/97  Senate: Signed by President
03/24/97  House: Governor's recommendation received by House
04/02/97  House: House concurred in Gov's rec. (Block Vote) (99-Y 0-N)
04/02/97  House: VOTE: BLOCK VOTE ADOPTION (99-Y 0-N)
04/02/97  Senate: Senate concurred in Gov's recommendation (38-Y 0-N)
04/02/97  Senate: VOTE: (38-Y 0-N)
04/02/97  Governor: Governor's recommendation adopted
04/02/97  House: Reenrolled
04/02/97  House: Reenrolled bill text (HB2085ER)
04/02/97  House: Signed by Speaker as reenrolled
04/02/97  Senate: Signed by President as reenrolled
04/02/97  House: Enacted, Chapter 842 (effective 7/1/98)
04/08/97  Governor: Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0842)