As a trust nerd, I love the Tennessee Uniform Trust Code. I like keep an up to date version of it as a desk reference for myself. I created it during law school for Judge Robert S. Benham at the Probate Court of Shelby County, Tennessee in 2010. I have kept it current ever since. The desk reference includes statutory commentary and is current through the most recent legislative session. I have also included my Tennessee trust and estate legislative update which includes comments on the 110th and 111th legislative sessions. The things I do for love. If you’d like to have a copy, CLICK HERE to download a .pdf.
On May 9, the Tennessee House passed the Senate’s bill to add a new chapter to Title 61 of the Tennessee Code governing limited partnerships. The bill as has passed both houses can be read here: SB0438. It is now headed to Governor Haslam’s desk for his signature. Once signed by the Governor, the act will take effect January 1, 2018.
Last week, Governor Haslam signed several new bills into law. I previously blogged about a bill which updated a number of areas of Trust and Probate law here which has been signed by the Governor.
Three other bills have been signed by the Governor which update several other areas of probate law. Two of these change the amount from $10,000 to $15,000 that may be paid out without probate by a credit union and bank, respectively.
The third act updates accounting procedures in Tennessee probate estates. My reading of third act is to eliminate a court’s discretion to require an accounting if the Will waives it. Instead, a status report detailing issues to be completed before the estate can be closed will be due within fifteen months from the opening of the estate. I also read a new TCA 30-2-601(b)(2) to allow the personal representative to be able to close an estate without an accounting even if all receipts have not been received. In such event, the personal representative would give notice to the beneficiary who has failed to give a receipt. If the beneficiary no-shows at the hearing to close the estate (or appears, but does not participate), the “[f]ailure of a non-compliant distributee to appear and or participate in the hearing shall result in a final order closing the estate.” [emphasis added].
There are also new statutory forms for the receipt and waiver.
A copy of the bill as signed by the Governor can be viewed here: Pub. Ch. 0280.
It should be noted that this bill updating probate accounting procedures became law as soon as it was signed by the Governor last week (as opposed to July 1 when most new laws become effective).
Codified as Public Chapter 829 and signed by Governor Haslam into law on April 29, 2014, a new form of joint trust is available for transfers to trusts on or after July 1, 2014. Although the trust is not named by the statute, the trust substantially resembles the common law form of property known as tenancy by the entirety. Some practitioners have appropriately referred to this trust as the “marital asset protection trust.” I previously discussed this subject here and here, albeit briefly.
This statute has been codified as T.C.A. § 35-15-510.
Common law tenancy by the entirety. Before I get into the finer points of the TE Trust, a refresher on how tenancy by the entirety works in general (and its benefits) is appropriate. Continue reading This just in! Tennessee Tenancy by the Entirety Joint Revocable Trust
Governor Haslam has appointed Shelby County Chancellor Kenny W. Armstrong to the Tennessee Court of Appeals, Western Section. Chancellor Armstrong will fill the vacancy created by Governor Haslam’s appointment of Justice Holly Kirby to the Tennessee Supreme Court. Armstrong has served as Chancellor for Division III of the Shelby County Chancery Court since 2006. Click here to read more.
Update: Click here to read more about the law.
I wrote about this new law in a prior post (click here to read). Its official, the law has now been signed into law by Governor Haslam and will come into effect on July 1, 2014.
Click here to read the law: Public Chapter 829.
Signed into law by Governor Haslam on April 29, 2014, the small estate affidavit procedure will now cover substantially more small estates.
The Small Estate Affidavit is an abbreviated procedure in Tennessee that avoids the necessity of a formal probate administration in certain qualifying estates. The affidavit is a “one and done” probate process—it can be handled in a single court filing and appearance.
The new law qualifies estates that are less than $50,000 for this less costly process. Formerly, only estates with less than $25,000 qualified.
Click here to read the new law. The relevant portion is on page 3 at Sections 8 and 9:
SECTION 8. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 30-4-102(5), is amended by deleting the language “twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000)” and substituting the language “fifty thousand dollars ($50,000)”.
SECTION 9. This act shall take effect on becoming law, the public welfare requiring it.