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THE COURTS

Title 255—LOCAL COURT RULES

DELAWARE COUNTY

Local Orphans' Court Rules Nos. 2.5A (Related to Cemetery Companies) and 5.16A (Settlement of Small Estates); Orphans' Court No. 497-19; Judicial Support Civil No. 17-5120

[49 Pa.B. 4105]
[Saturday, August 10, 2019]

Administrative Order

And Now, this 21st day of June, 2019, it is hereby Ordered and Decreed that Delaware County Orphans' Court Local Rules Nos. 2.5A (related to cemetery companies) and 5.16A (settlement of small estates) having been reviewed and allowed by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania's Orphans' Court Procedural Rules Committee are Adopted.

 These local Orphans' Court Rules (Nos. 2.5A and 5.16A) Shall be effective thirty (30) days subsequent to publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

By the Court

KEVIN F. KELLY, 
President Judge

PREFACE

 In an effort to assist in the timely and efficient adjudication of matters before the Orphans' Court of Delaware County, suggested forms including but not limited to sample decrees and sample petitions are available on the Delaware County Orphans' Court website by clicking the link for suggested forms. Please note that these forms are not mandatory but simply contain language that is consistent with the law outlined in these rules and are meant to assist those pursuing a matter before the Orphans' Court of Delaware County. It is also important to remember to regularly visit the Delaware County Orphans' Court website and review the forms as they are subject to change.

Del.Co.O.C. Rule 2.5A. Cemetery Companies.

 When an institutional trustee or cemetery company as trustee files an Account in the form prescribed by Rule 2.1, or verified financial statements for the three most recent fiscal years in lieu of an Account, pursuant to 9 Pa.C.S.A. § 308(a) and (b), with the Clerk of the Orphans' Court of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, notice shall be provided to the following:

 1. The State Real Estate Commission,

 2. The municipality(ies) in which the cemetery is located, and

 3. The Solicitor for the County of Delaware.

Committee Comment: This Rule is substantially similar to former Orphans' Court Rule 12.15, a counterpart for which was not in the new Pennsylvania Orphans' Court Rules which became effective September 1, 2016.

Del.Co.O.C. Rule 5.16A. Settlement of Small Estates Under 20 Pa.C.S. § 3102 or § 3531.

 1. Contents of Petition for Settlement of Small Estate Under 20 Pa.C.S. § 3102. A Petition for the settlement of a small estate pursuant to 20 Pa.C.S. § 3102 (not exceeding the value limit as calculated in accordance with the requirements set forth in 20 Pa.C.S. § 3102) shall state all of the following:

 a. the name and address of the petitioner, the petitioner's relationship to the decedent, and the petitioner's interest in the estate;

 b. the name, date of death, and domicile of the decedent;

 c. whether the decedent died testate or intestate (i.e., with or without a Will); and, if there was a Will, whether or not it was offered to the Register of Wills for probate and whether or not the Register of Wills issued Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration, and to whom and when; and whether a bond was required and obtained and in what amount;

 d. if the petitioner is the surviving spouse, the date and place of the marriage (and, in the case of a valid common law marriage, all facts necessary to establish the validity of such a marriage);

 e. the names, addresses and relationships of all beneficiaries entitled to any part of the decedent's estate, under the Will or under the intestate law; a brief description of their respective interests; whether any of them has received or retained property of the decedent pursuant to 20 Pa.C.S. § 3101, or otherwise; and whether any of them is a minor, or an adjudicated incapacitated person, or deceased, and if so, the names and addresses of their guardians or personal representatives or other fiduciaries;

 f. the person(s) entitled to the Family Exemption and, if a claim for the Family Exemption is made in the Petition, any additional facts necessary to establish the right to the Family Exemption as required by Pa.O.C. Rule 5.2 and Del.Co.O.C. Rules 5.2A through 5.2F;

 g. an itemized list of all the decedent's assets including but not limited to real estate, with values assigned to each item, either incorporated in the petition or attached as an exhibit;

 h. an itemized list, either incorporated in the petition or attached as an exhibit, setting forth under separate headings:

 i. all payments from decedent's assets prior to the filing of the petition, including the amounts and dates paid, the names of the payees, and a description of the purposes of the payments; and

 ii. all unpaid claims against the decedent's estate, including the amount of each claim, the name of each claimant, the basis for each claim, and indicating which claims are admitted; and

 iii. in the case of an insolvent estate, a list of all payments and unpaid claims in accordance with the priority of payment set forth in 20 Pa.C.S. § 3392 providing for the classification and order of payment in an insolvent estate.

 i. an averment as to the status of the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax Return and the payment of tax, with proof thereof (such as the official Notice of Appraisement or the official Inheritance Tax receipt) attached as an exhibit;

 j. an averment that written notice of the filing of the petition, in accordance with Pa.O.C. Rule 3.5, has been or will be given to every unpaid beneficiary, heir, claimant, and known creditor who has not joined in or consented to the petition, and, if the decedent's heirs are unknown, to the appropriate Commonwealth department; and

 k. a request for distribution of the personal property to those entitled.

 2. Exhibits. The following exhibits shall be attached to the Petition:

 a. true and correct copies of the decedent's Will and any codicils, if probated, any Letters issued by the Register of Wills, and any bond obtained; or, if the Will was not probated, the Petitioner shall lodge the original Will and codicils (if any) with the Register of Wills and obtain a receipt therefor, and copies of the Will and any codicils and the Register of Wills receipt shall be attached as exhibits to the Petition;

 b. any proof of payment of Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax or the filing of a Return;

 c. joinders or consents of unpaid beneficiaries, heirs, claimants and creditors;

 d. proof of notice, in accordance with Pa.O.C. Rule 3.5(b), to unpaid beneficiaries, heirs, claimants and creditors who have not consented or joined in the Petition;

 e. a legible copy of the Decedent's death certificate clearing showing that Decedent was a resident of Delaware County at the time of death.

 3. Proposed Decree of Distribution of Small Estate Pursuant to 20 Pa.C.S. § 3102. A proposed Decree, entitled DECREE OF DISTRIBUTION OF SMALL ESTATE PURSUANT TO 20 Pa.C.S. § 3102, shall be attached to the front of the Petition. The Decree shall set forth specifically each proposed award, payment and distribution of the personal assets of the Decedent to each proposed distributee, including the Family Exemption if applicable, and shall provide that any funds payable to a minor shall be deposited into a custodial or minor's bank account and held until the minor reaches the age of majority, at which time all funds on account shall be paid to him or her.

 4. Appraisements. No appraisement shall be required unless ordered by the Court.

 5. Additional Requirements for Petition for Distribution of Estate Under 20 Pa.C.S. § 3531. In addition to the contents required by this Rule for a Petition for Settlement of Small Estate Under 20 Pa.C.S. § 3102, as set forth above, a Petition for Distribution of a small estate containing real estate after the expiration of one year from the date of first complete advertisement of the grant of letters, pursuant to 20 Pa.C.S. § 3531, shall state:

 a. the name and address of the personal representative, the date of the grant of letters, and the dates and places of advertisement of the grant of letters;

 b. a request for approval of any distribution theretofore made and for an order distributing the assets not theretofore distributed;

 c. a description of any real estate owned by the decedent and an opinion or evidence as to its value; and

 d. a request, if appropriate, for an order discharging the personal representative and the personal representative's sureties from future liability; or a request for an order discharging only the surety from future liability and allowing the personal representative to continue without surety upon condition that no further assets shall come into the possession of the personal representative until the personal representative files another bond, with sufficient surety, as required by the Register of Wills.

 6. Additional Exhibits for Petition for Distribution of Estate Under 20 Pa.C.S. § 3531. In addition to the exhibits required by this Rule for a Petition for Settlement of Small Estate Under 20 Pa.C.S. § 3102, as set forth above, a Petition for Distribution of a small estate containing real estate after the expiration of one year from the date of first complete advertisement of the grant of letters, pursuant to 20 Pa.C.S. § 3531 shall have attached thereto the following additional exhibits:

 a. Proofs of the advertisements of the grant of letters;

 b. A copy of the last known Deed for any real estate owned by the decedent, and any opinion or evidence of the value thereof;

 c. Account showing the administration of the estate, the distribution theretofore made, and the proposed distribution of the estate not theretofore distributed; and

 d. Proof of notice to all known parties in interest of the filing of the Petition and any hearing date.

 7. Proposed Decree of Distribution of Small Estate Pursuant to 20 Pa.C.S. § 3531. A proposed Decree, entitled DECREE OF DISTRIBUTION OF SMALL ESTATE PURSUANT TO 20 Pa.C.S. § 3531, shall be attached to the front of the Petition. The Decree shall set forth specifically each proposed award, payment and distribution of the real and personal assets of the Decedent to each proposed distributee, including the Family Exemption if applicable, and shall provide that any funds payable to a minor shall be deposited into a custodial or minor's bank account and held until the minor reaches the age of majority, at which time all funds on account shall be paid to him or her.

Committee Comment: A sample Petition for Settlement of a Small Estate, a sample Decree, a copy of this local rule, a copy of 20 Pa.C.S. § 3101 and a copy of 20 Pa.C.S. § 3102 will be available in the office of the Clerk of Orphans' Court. The sample Petition and sample Decree will also be available on the Delaware County Orphans' Court website at: http://www.co.delaware.pa.us/registerofwills/orphancourtforms.html

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 19-1203. Filed for public inspection August 9, 2019, 9:00 a.m.]



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