senate Bill S240

2009-2010 Legislative Session

Establishes a registry of wills and codicils

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 06, 2010 referred to judiciary
Jan 07, 2009 referred to judiciary

S240 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A338
Current Committee:
Senate Judiciary
Law Section:
Surrogate's Court Procedure Act

S240 - Bill Texts

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BILL NUMBER: S240

TITLE OF BILL :

An act to amend the surrogate's court procedure act, in relation to
establishing a registry of wills and codicils


PURPOSE :

To establishing a registry of wills and codicils.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS :

This bill (the "Bill") adds a new section 2509 to the Surrogate's
Court procedure act to require each county Surrogate to establish and
maintain a registry of wills and codicils executed in such county.
Such registry shall be available for public inspection and shall
include the following information: (a) the name of the testator or
testatrix; (b) the date on which such will or codicil was executed;
(c) if a codicil, the date of execution of the will such codicil
amends; and (d) the physical address at which such will or codicil is
located.

Under the Bill, upon the execution of any will or codicil, the
attorney for the maker of the will or codicil shall, within ten (10)
days after its execution, deliver to the Surrogate Court the
information set forth above. Such information may be delivered by mail
or electronic means.

The Bill requires the Surrogate Court to maintain the format and
content of the will registry on a computerized data base, which shall
be updated at least monthly. The Court shall provide public access to
the computerized data base in a manner that allows individuals to
search the registry by name, date or address.

Nothing in the Bill shall be construed to require any testator or
testatrix to file a will or codicil upon its execution nor shall any
will or codicil be deemed null, void or otherwise without effect due
to the failure to file.

EXISTING LAW :

Currently there is no will and codicil registry established in the
surrogate Courts nor is there an obligation upon attorneys to file
their client's wills and codicils with the Court. However, many
Surrogate Courts permit the voluntary filing of wills with the Court
for safe keeping.

JUSTIFICATION :

In many cases, upon the death of an individual, the decedent's family
and attorney (if said attorney was not the preparer of the will) are
unable to locate the decedent's most recent will. This Bill, would
begin to alleviate that problem by requiring the attorney for the
maker of a will or codicil to file a form with the Surrogate Court
indicating, among other things, the physical address at which such
will or codicil is located.

This Bill does not require that the will or codicil be placed with the
Surrogate Court. Nor would it change the practice of Surrogate Courts
permitting the voluntary filing of wills with the Court for safe
keeping. Moreover, this Bill not only applies to the attorney for the
maker of the will or codicil and not to the maker himself. An
individual who prepares his/her own will without the assistance of an
attorney would not be subject to the provisions on the Bill.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :

2007-08, S.659; 2005-06, S.1476; 2003-04, S.1164; 2001-02, S.7277.

EFFECTIVE DATE :
Ninetieth day after becoming law.
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