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SB494 SUB1 Senate Bill 494 History

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SB494 SUB1
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE

FOR

Senate Bill No. 494

(By Senators Kessler and Chafin)

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[Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary;

reported February 24, 2010.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact §44-3-1 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §44-3A-35 of said code, all relating to administration of estates; responsibilities, reports and duties of fiduciary commissioners; duties of county clerks; and providing for oversight of fiduciary commissioners by county clerks and county commissions.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §44-3-1 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that §44-3A-35 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 3. FIDUCIARY COMMISSIONERS; POWERS AND DUTIES.
§44-3-1. Fiduciary commissioners.
The office previously known as commissioner of accounts is hereby abolished. The office of fiduciary commissioner is hereby created and any reference in this code to a commissioner of accounts shall, after the effective date of this section, mean fiduciary commissioner. Fiduciary commissioners shall be attorneys admitted to the practice of law in this state, or shall meet the qualifications of fiduciary supervisors as set forth in article three-a of this chapter: Provided, That persons who are serving as commissioners of accounts upon the effective date of this article shall be continued in office as fiduciary commissioners for not more than one year from the effective date of this article for the purpose of settling estates not settled on the effective date of this article.
The county commission of each county shall appoint not more than four fiduciary commissioners. In counties in which there exists a separate tribunal for police and fiscal purposes, that tribunal shall appoint the fiduciary commissioners. In either case, not more than two of the fiduciary commissioners may be from the same political party.
The fiduciary commissioner shall report to and settle accounts with the county clerk. On or before the last day of March, June, September and December, the fiduciary commissioner shall file with the county clerk a report on the status and disposition of every active case referred to the fiduciary commissioner. In the next succeeding term of the county commission, the county clerk shall provide a copy of the
report to the county commission, and shall inform the county commission of any cases referred to a fiduciary commissioner in which the fiduciary commissioner has not fulfil1ed duties relating to the case in accordance with deadlines established by law. The county commission shal1 take appropriate action to ensure that all deadlines established by law will be observed, including, if necessary, the removal of fiduciary commissioners who consistently fail to meet such deadlines.
ARTICLE 3A. OPTIONAL PROCEDURE FOR PROOF AND ALLOWANCE OF CLAIMS AGAINST ESTATES OF DECEDENTS; COUNTY OPTION.

§44-3A-35. Fiduciary commissioners.
The county commission of each county shall appoint not more than four fiduciary commissioners, except that in counties in which there exists a separate tribunal for police and fiscal purposes, such tribunal shall appoint such commissioners: Provided, That the county commission or such separate tribunal shall avoid reference of estates to such commissioners, unless such reference is necessary.
The fiduciary commissioner shall report to and settle accounts with the county clerk. On or before the last day of March, June, September and December, the fiduciary commissioner shall file with the county clerk a report on the status and disposition of every active case referred to the fiduciary commissioner. In the next succeeding term of the county commission, the county clerk shall provide a copy of the report to the county commission, and shall inform the county commission of any cases referred to a fiduciary commissioner in which the fiduciary commissioner has not fulfil1ed duties relating to the case in accordance with deadlines established by law. The county commission shal1 take appropriate action to ensure that all deadlines established by law will be observed, including, if necessary, the removal of fiduciary commissioners who consistently fail to meet such deadlines.



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(NOTE: Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.)
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