senate Bill S7077

Signed by Governor Amended

Relates to powers of attorney in relation to decedents' estates required to be in writing and recorded

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed by Governor
view actions

actions

  • 23 / Apr / 2014
    • REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • 29 / Apr / 2014
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.426
  • 30 / Apr / 2014
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 05 / May / 2014
    • AMENDED 7077A
  • 05 / May / 2014
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 20 / May / 2014
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 20 / May / 2014
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 20 / May / 2014
    • REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • 09 / Jun / 2014
    • SUBSTITUTED FOR A9759
  • 09 / Jun / 2014
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.881
  • 09 / Jun / 2014
    • PASSED ASSEMBLY
  • 09 / Jun / 2014
    • RETURNED TO SENATE
  • 11 / Sep / 2014
    • DELIVERED TO GOVERNOR
  • 23 / Sep / 2014
    • SIGNED CHAP.391

Summary

Relates to powers of attorney in relation to decedents' estates required to be in writing and recorded.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S7077
S7077A
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Law Section:
Estates, Powers and Trusts Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง13-2.3, EPT L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7077

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the estates, powers and trusts law, in
relation to powers of attorney in relation to decedents' estates
required to be in writing and recorded

This is one in a series of measures being introduced at the request of
the Chief Administrative Judge upon the recommendation of her
Surrogate's Court Advisory Committee.

We recommend this measure to clarify the law with regard to the filing
of an agreement with the Surrogate's Court by an abandoned property
services locator under SCPA 1310 and a rule requirement adopted by the
Office of Unclaimed Funds of the New York Office of the State
Comptroller ("OSC"). The measure would eliminate the current practice
whereby any "finder's agreement" that has been executed by a potential
claimant to such unclaimed funds must be filed with the Surrogate's
Court when no estate has been opened and no fiduciary has been
appointed for the estate.

Currently, a claimant who is not a fiduciary may enter into an
agreement with an abandoned property services locator or other similar
agent to pay the agent up to 15% of the unclaimed funds recovered. A
claimant who has not been appointed as a fiduciary is not authorized
to represent the estate. The agreement is simply a contract between
two individuals, neither of whom has the authority to represent the
estate. Operationally, the Office of Unclaimed Funds requires the
party making the claim to provide a court certified copy of the
property location agreement filed with the Surrogate's Court when a
decedent's estate representative or qualifying heir pursuant to
section 1310 of the Surrogate's Court Procedure Act is making claim to
abandoned funds. However, we believe that the statute does not require
that such agreements be filed with the court when the agreement is
signed by a person claiming the property as a qualified affiant
pursuant to section 1310 of the Surrogate's Court Procedure Act. In
practice such agreements are filed in bulk by the property locator's
agent, in a county of its choice, without a companion estate
proceeding. The absence of an estate proceeding renders such filings
meaningless from an oversight perspective and is unnecessary pursuant
to statute. In the opinion of our Advisory Committee, with limited
exceptions, property locator agreements concerning assets of a
decedent should be executed only by fiduciaries and thereafter filed
in the Surrogate's Court which issued such letters, so that all
interests of the rightful heirs of a decedent and creditors of an
estate are protected.

Administratively, the Office of Unclaimed Funds in the OSC has
determined it will no longer accept an abandoned property location
services agreement where letters have not been issued to an estate
representative, unless it is executed by the spouse or children of a
decedent and the amount at issue is less than $1,000. Further, where,
excepting those cases where a locator's agreement is signed by the
spouse or children of a decedent, all other claimants would be
required to obtain letters pursuant to Article 13 of the SCPA for
claims in excess of $1,000. The process can be completed on line,
costs one dollar for a certificate, and more adequately ensures that


all distributees, beneficiaries and creditors are protected. The OSC
has proposed and expects to adopt regulatory changes to this effect.

This measure would enact the necessary statutory amendments to ensure
that these agreements are not accepted for filing by the Surrogate's
Court unless a fiduciary has been appointed or is pending before the
court.

This measure, which would have no meaningful impact on the public
treasury, would take effect immediately.

Legislative History:

None. New Proposal.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  7077

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             April 23, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. BONACIC -- (at request of the Office of Court Admin-
  istration) -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed  to  be
  committed to the Committee on Judiciary

AN  ACT  to  amend  the  estates,  powers and trusts law, in relation to
  powers of attorney in relation to decedents' estates required to be in
  writing and recorded

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Section  13-2.3  of the estates, powers and trusts law is
amended by adding a new paragraph (e) to read as follows:
  (E) NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF ANY OTHER STATUTE  OR  RULE,  NO
INSTRUMENT  CONTAINING  A  DELEGATION OF POWERS, ASSIGNMENT OF INTEREST,
FEE ARRANGEMENT, OR ANY  INSTRUMENT  OF  LIKE  IMPORT  CREATED  FOR  THE
PURPOSE  OF  PARTICIPATING ON BEHALF OF AN INDIVIDUAL IN ANY APPLICATION
SEEKING THE RECOVERY OF PROPERTY PURSUANT TO  SECTION  FOURTEEN  HUNDRED
TEN OF THE ABANDONED PROPERTY LAW OR SECTION THIRTEEN HUNDRED TEN OF THE
SURROGATE'S  COURT  PROCEDURE  ACT,  NOR ANY POWER OF ATTORNEY, SHALL BE
ACCEPTED FOR FILING OR RECORDING BY THE SURROGATE'S COURT OF  A  PARTIC-
ULAR  COUNTY  UNLESS A FIDUCIARY, AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED BY SUBDIVISION
TWENTY-ONE OF SECTION ONE HUNDRED THREE OF THE SURROGATE'S COURT  PROCE-
DURE  ACT,  HAS BEEN APPOINTED, OR A PROCEEDING FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF A
FIDUCIARY IS PENDING IN SUCH COURT. THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH  (B)  OF
THIS  SECTION  SHALL  APPLY  TO  ALL INSTRUMENTS ELIGIBLE FOR FILING AND
RECORDING HEREUNDER.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.




 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD13631-01-4

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