A N A C T
RELATING TO PROBATE PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE --
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 33-15-19 of the General Laws in Chapter 33-15 entitled "Limited Guardianship and Guardianship of Adults" is hereby amended to read as follows:
33-15-19. Inventory and appraisement of estate -- Within thirty (30) days after his or her appointment, or such longer time as may be allowed by the probate court, a temporary guardian, guardian or limited guardian shall return to the probate court, under oath, an inventory and appraisement of all the real and personal property of his or her ward, as of the date of the guardian's qualification to be made by either the guardian and/or a suitable, disinterested person or persons appointed by the court, which shall fix the number of appraisers at one or three (3) in its discretion. The appraisers shall be sworn to the faithful discharge of their trust.
In appraising the ward's interest in any assets held by the ward jointly or in some other form of concurrent ownership with another party, the appraiser shall include on such inventory an explanation for the basis for appraising such inventory, as either all, none, or a portion of the value of such assets.
SECTION 2. Sections 33-11-16, 33-11-17, 33-11-23, 33-11-24, 33-11-28, 33-11-29, 33-11-31, 33-11-32, 33-11-33, 33-11-34, 33-11-35, 33-11-37, 33-11-42, 33-11-43, 33-11-44, 33-11-45, 33-11-46 and 33-11-48 of the General Laws in Chapter 33-11 entitled "Claims Against Decedents' Estates" are hereby amended to read as follows:
Appointment of commissioner to hear disallowed claims against solvent estate. Probate court to hear disallowed claims against solvent estate. -- If the estate is solvent, the executor, administrator, or creditor filing the claim may, within ten (10) days after disallowance of a claim, file a request that any claim disallowed be proved before the commissioner probate court. The court may thereupon appoint a commissioner, who shall examine and determine the claims. All claims disallowed shall be heard and decided by the commissioner, probate court, and no suit shall be brought upon any claim, until said hearing and report shall be made to held by said court.
Hearings and report by commissioner. Hearings by court. -- The commissioner probate court shall give notice to creditors whose claims are referred, of the time when and place where their claims will be examined, as the court may direct. The commissioner shall report to the court scheduled for hearing. The court shall attempt to schedule such hearings within thirty (30) days after the expiration of the time limited for proving claims, unless further time for cause shown shall be allowed by the court.
Disallowed claims against insolvent estates to be heard by commissioner. Disallowed claims against insolvent estates to be heard by probate court. -- All claims against an insolvent estate which are disallowed shall be heard and decided by the commissioner. probate court.
Appointment of commissioner on insolvent estates. Hearings on insolvent estates. -- An executor or administrator at any time during administration may represent the insolvent estate to the probate court, and apply for the appointment of a commissioner probate court to examine and determine claims. If the probate court finds the estate is probably insolvent, and there are claims which have been disallowed, it shall appoint one (1) commissioner. schedule a hearing on said claims.
Notice of commissioner meetings. Notice of hearings on insolvent estates.-- Commissioner on insolvent estates shall appoint convenient times and places for his or her meetings to hear and determine claims, and shall advertise notice of the meetings In all insolvent estates, the probate court shall advertise notice of their hearings in one or more newspapers published in this state, as ordered by the court, at least once each week for two (2) successive weeks before the first meeting. They hearing. The court shall, by mail or otherwise, give to all creditors whose claims are disallowed at least seven (7) days' written notice of the times and places of the meetings. hearing.
33-11-29. Statements of contested claims against insolvent estate -- At least fourteen (14) days before the first
meeting of the commissioner on an insolvent estate, scheduled hearing date for claims in an insolvent estate as set forth in section 33-11-28, he executor or administrator shall file in the office of the probate clerk a statement disallowing claims, not previously disallowed, as he or she intends to contest, and he or she shall from time to time, and as soon as may be, file a like statement with respect to any claim thereafter filed which he or she intends to contest.
Power of commissioner over witnesses. Power of probate court over witnesses. -- The commissioner probate court may compel the attendance of witnesses and administer oaths during hearings on claims in the same manner as other courts of record.
33-11-32. Secured claims against insolvent estates. -- If a creditor, having a security for his or her claim against an insolvent estate upon any property of the estate, shall file his or her claim, the
commissioner probate court shall inquire into the cash value of the security , and report the value to the probate court; and if the commissioner court allows the claim, the executor or administrator shall give the creditor personal notice of the amount allowed and the value of the security as reported by the commissioner; court and unless the creditor shall, within fifteen (15) days after receiving notice, lodge with the court a certificate of his or her election to relinquish the security, he or she shall be entitled to a dividend from the estate upon the excess only of his or her claim above the amount of the commissioner's courts valuation of the security.
33-11-33. Interest on claims against solvent estate. -- In solvent estate cases, the
commissioner probate court shall allow interest to the expiration of the commission on claims carrying interest, and on claims not carrying interest to the same time from the death of the testator or intestate; upon claims not due and not bearing interest they shall discount the sum as will reduce them to their present value.
33-11-34. Interest on claims against insolvent estate. -- In insolvent estate cases, the
commissioner probate court shall allow interest to the death of the testator or intestate on claims drawing interest, and on claims not due at the death of the testator or intestate he or she shall ascertain their value as of the date of the death of the decedent.
33-11-35. Offset of mutual claims. -- When there are mutual claims between the estate of the deceased and the person claiming as a creditor, which are subject to offset, the
commissioner probate court, after reducing the claim of the creditor to its present value, if there is a balance in his or her favor, shall consider any mutual claims and allow the creditor only the balance justly due.
Notice of disallowance by commissioner. Notice of disallowance by probate court. -- If a claim against a solvent or insolvent estate shall be disallowed in whole or in part by the commissioner, probate court, the probate clerk shall mail a written notice thereof to the claimant or to his or her attorney within seven (7) days after the filing of the commissioner's report. courts order.
Appeals to superior court from confirmation of commissioner's report. Appeals to superior court. -- Any person whose claim is not allowed in full by the commissioner probate court on either a solvent or insolvent estate may appeal to the superior court from the decree of the probate court confirming the report of the commissioner pursuant to the provisions of section 33-23-1 et seq.; and in like manner an executor, administrator, creditor or other party interested may appeal with respect to any claim allowed.
33-11-43. Superior court judgment -- Costs -- The judgment of the superior court, on appeal, shall ascertain the claims and amounts to be added to, or deducted from, the claims,
as reported by the commissioner, pursuant to the provisions of section 33-23-1 et seq. The costs of the appeal shall be awarded by the court against either party, or be divided between them, as justice may require, and execution therefor shall issue accordingly.
33-11-44. Claims based on action commenced against decedent before death -- Any action or suit brought against a decedent in his or her lifetime, which survives, and in which the executor or administrator shall be notified to take upon himself or herself the defense as provided in section 33-18-8, and any action or suit, upon any cause of action originating in the lifetime of the decedent and which survives, brought against the executor or administrator before the estate has been represented insolvent, shall not abate, but may be prosecuted to final judgment against the estate. All such claims shall be filed in the office of the probate clerk as provided in sections 33-11-4 and 33-11-5, but need not be proved before the
commissioner. probate court. Execution upon the judgment in the case shall be stayed. If the estate is, or shall be represented insolvent, the amount of the judgment shall be included in or added to the commissioner's report as a claim against the estate, subject to the provisions of section 33-11-32, but shall not be subject to appeal; and if the estate is solvent, execution may issue at any time after claims of the same class are payable.
33-11-45. Claim barred by failure to prove -- If any creditor whose claim has been disallowed or objected to shall not prove his or her claim before the
commissioner within the time originally fixed or thereafter extended as provided in this chapter, probate court as provided in this chapter, he or she shall, unless otherwise provided by law, be forever barred of his or her action therefor against the executor or administrator.
33-11-46. Proof of claim paid before appointment of commissioner -- In case of an insolvent estate, if the executor or administrator shall have paid any just claim due to a creditor in full or in part before the
appointment of a commissioner, probate court hearing, he or she may prove the claim before the commissioner. court; provided, the court may allow such proof to be made at a hearing on an account filed by the estate representative.
33-11-48. Action on disallowed claim -- Suit on claims disallowed prior to the expiration of six (6) months from first publication may be brought no later than thirty (30) days after the expiration of six (6) months from first publication, and suit on claims disallowed after the expiration of six (6) months from first publication may be brought within thirty (30) days after notice is given to the claimant that the claim is disallowed, unless the estate has been represented as insolvent or request that the claim before the
commissioner probate court has been duly filed; and, unless otherwise authorized, suit on the claim shall not be brought thereafter against the executor or administrator. If, subsequent to the expiration of the period in which suit may be brought, the executor or administrator shall represent the estate as insolvent, a disallowed claim, on which suit is barred by the foregoing provision of this section, shall not be provable before the commissioner thereafter appointed to examine and determine claims. probate court.
SECTION 3. Sections 33-11-18, 33-11-25, 33-11-26, 33-11-27, 33-11-36, 33-11-38, 33-11-39, 33-11-40 and 33-11-41 of the General Laws in Chapter 33-11 entitled "Claims Against Decedents' Estates" are hereby repealed.
33-11-18. Insolvency of estate determined after appointment of commissioner -- If a commissioner is appointed for a solvent estate, and it shall later appear, before his or her report is confirmed, that the estate is probably insolvent, the probate court shall, upon application filed therefor by the executor or administrator, vacate the appointment and acts of the commissioner; but the commissioner shall receive from the estate a suitable compensation, to be fixed by the probate court.
33-11-25. Qualification of commissioner -- Substitutes -- The probate clerk shall forthwith notify the commissioner of his or her appointment. Each commissioner shall within ten (10) days after notice be engaged to the faithful discharge of his or her duties, and file with the probate clerk a certificate of his or her engagement, signed by the officer before whom he or she was engaged. If it does not appear at the expiration of such time that he or she has been so engaged, he or she shall be deemed to have declined the appointment and another commissioner shall be appointed in his or her stead.
33-11-26. Removal of commissioner -- The court may, for cause shown, remove any commissioner.
33-11-27. Replacement of commissioner or commission -- Whenever a commissioner shall die, resign or be removed, or neglect, refuse or be unable to serve, or whenever from any cause a commission shall fail to make report according to law, the probate court may, on the application of the executor or administrator, or of any creditor of the estate, appoint another commissioner in his or her place, or may appoint a new commission; and the commission in either case shall then proceed as the probate court shall direct.
33-11-36. Time allowed for proof before commissioner -- Claims shall be proved before the commissioner within three (3) months from the date of his or her appointment, or within any extended time, not exceeding six (6) months from the appointment date, as the court for cause shown by claimants or commissioner may allow; provided, that if an estate be represented insolvent within six (6) months of the first publication of notice, at least six (6) months from the publication shall be allowed for proving claims.
33-11-38. Report of commissioner -- Within thirty (30) days from the expiration of the time limited for proving claims, or within further time as the court may allow, the commissioner shall report to the probate court a list of the claims allowed, the order of their payment as provided in section 33-12-11, and a list of the claims disallowed.
33-11-39. Notice of hearing on commissioner's report -- Upon coming in of the report, the court shall appoint a time for hearing on the report. The executor or administrator shall give notice of the hearing by advertisement as the court shall direct, and also by mailing a notice to each person who has filed a claim and whose post office address is filed with the court.
33-11-40. Court hearing and action on commissioner's report -- The court at the time appointed for the hearing shall hear the parties, examine the report, and confirm the same, or may recommit the report for errors, or for any misconduct of the commissioner. The commissioner may by leave of court correct any errors in the report. No claim shall be diminished without notice to the creditor or his or her attorney, nor increased without notice to the executor or administrator. Any claim not heard by the commissioner through accident, mistake or unforeseen cause, may be heard by the court. Claims heard and allowed by the probate court, and claims not disallowed by the executor or administrator, or not objected to as provided in section 33-11-14, shall be added to or inserted in the report. But, no change shall be made in the report after confirmation, except on appeal.
33-11-41. Compensation of commissioner -- Upon receiving the report of the commissioner, the court shall allow out of the estate a suitable compensation for his or her services.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect upon passage.