Rule Changes; No. 65-96-214

[35 Pa.B. 6432]

Administrative Order

   And Now this 4th day of November, 2005 it is Hereby Ordered that Westmoreland Rules of Orphans' Court WO107(f), WO117(f), WO117(h), WO405(a)(19), WO(a) (20), WO407(a)(2)(G), WO407(a)(5), and the Cross References Section to WO602 are rescinded.

   New Westmoreland Rules of Orphans' Court WO107(f) and Comment, WO117(f), WO117(h), WO405(a)(19), WO(a)(20), WO405(c), WO407(a)(2)(G), WO409, and the Cross References Section to WO602 are adopted.

By the Court

President Judge

Rule WO107 Pleadings

   (f)  Notice

   (1)  Argument on contested motions or petitions will be heard in Motions Court. The trial judge assigned to a specific case will hear all motions or petitions relating to that case. Motions Court shall be held each Friday at 9:00 a.m.

   (2)  The moving party shall serve a copy of the motion or petition and any proposed Order on every other person known to have an interest in the outcome or disposition of the matter and attorneys of record, and give written notice of the time, date and location for presentation, at least 4 days in advance of the date when the presentation is to occur.

   (3)  The original motion or petition must be accompanied by a certificate stating that a copy of the motion or petition, proposed Order and written notice has been so furnished. Failure to provide such certificate may result in the court's refusal to hear the motion or petition.

   (4)  In the case of an uncontested motion or petition, the certificate shall also state that the motion or petition is, in fact, uncontested or has the consent of all parties.

   (5)  Copies of complex motions or petitions may be provided to the Court in advance. If so, the certificate shall also reflect this.

   Explanatory Comment:  If the Order grants leave for action to be taken, the parties should refer to Pa.O.C. Rules 5.3 and 5.4.

Rule WO117  Accounts

   (f)  Notice

   Notice of the filing of the account, as well as a copy of the account, shall be sent to all interested parties at least 20 days prior to the date set for audit. If the court finds that notice and a copy of the account have not been timely given, the audit may be continued to the next audit date.

   (h)  Objections

   Objections to an account must be filed with the clerk and submitted to the court in writing on or before the date and time set for audit. A copy of the objections shall be provided to counsel for the estate, or the personal representative where there is no counsel of record, and to every other party who has entered an appearance and who may be affected by the objection.

Rule WO405  Petitions For Distribution


   (19)  The names and addresses of all persons having any interest as devisees, legatees or heirs, with the names of parents where necessary to show relationship. In the case of intestacy, it shall also include a statement as to whether a surviving parent is the natural parent of any surviving children.

   (20)  A statement of all changes in distribution under the will, resulting from the death of persons named as beneficiaries therein, ademption of specific gifts, election to take against the will or otherwise, together with the date of death of any such beneficiary.

   (c)  The filing of a Petition for Distribution and Decree shall be mandatory. Approved forms are available in the Register of Wills' office. They may be retyped on a word processor for convenience.

Rule WO407  Small Estates

   (a)  Personalty

   (2)(G)  If the decedent attained age 55, a letter from the Department of Public Welfare disclosing the amount, if any, of its claim against the Estate.

Rule WO409  Family Settlement Agreements

   Before the register accepts a family settlement agreement for filing, the family settlement agreement must be accompanied by a certification from the filing party or their counsel that no minor or incapacitated person, whose interest is not represented by a court-appointed guardian, has an interest in the decedent's estate. In the absence of such certification, the estate must proceed to audit.

Rule WO602  Petition to Compromise and Settle Minor's Claim

   Cross References:  All petitions must meet the basic requirements established by WO107.

   Under Pa.R.C.P. Nos. 2039 and 2206, the following distribution procedures are used in the civil division.

   1.  Pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 2039(b), the court shall order the proceeds paid to the guardian of the estate of the minor.

   2.  If there is no court-appointed guardian of the estate and the amount is not more than $25,000, Pa.R.C.P. No. 2039(b)(1) provides that the court may (but is not obligated to) release the proceeds directly to ''the guardian of the person or to the natural guardian or to the person or agency by whom the minor is maintained or to the minor.''

   3.  If there is no court-appointed guardian of the estate and the amount is more than $25,000, Pa.R.C.P. No. 2039(b)(2) requires that the proceeds be deposited in a federally insured savings account--in the minor's name--with a stipulation that no withdrawals can be made until the child reaches the age of eighteen (18) except upon prior order of court.

   4.  The order must include a provision that proof of the sequestered account shall be promptly filed of record.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 05-2166. Filed for public inspection November 23, 2005, 9:00 a.m.]

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