SENATE, No. 1621

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 16, 2012

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  ANTHONY R. BUCCO

District 25 (Morris and Somerset)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes process by which a fiduciary is discharged.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning fiduciaries and amending N.J.S.3B:14-18 and N.J.S.3B:14-19. 

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    N.J.S.3B:14-18 is amended to read as follows:

     3B:14-18.  Discharge from office of fiduciary; account; allowances.  A fiduciary may be discharged from the further duties of his office by the court by which the fiduciary was appointed.  A fiduciary appointed by the Superior Court may request discharge by filing a complaint in the Superior Court.  A fiduciary appointed by the Surrogate’s Court may request discharge by filing an application in the Surrogate’s Court.  

     The court shall examine into the matter and if sufficient cause appears, the court may grant the discharge unless it will be prejudicial to the estate or persons interested therein or for any other reason the discharge ought not to be granted.

     A discharge so granted shall discharge the fiduciary of all the further duties of his office except accounting for and paying over the money and assets with which he is chargeable by virtue of his office.

     If the fiduciary is discharged, the court [shall] may make orders respecting his commissions as may be just and equitable.

(cf: N.J.S.3B:14-18)

 

     2.    N.J.S.3B:14-19 is amended to read as follows:

     3B:14-19.  Discharge from particular trust; effect.  [Where a fiduciary is appointed by a will to perform a particular trust thereunder, he may be discharged from the performance thereof by the court.]

     a.     A fiduciary acting under a governing instrument, including a fiduciary appointed under a will to perform a particular trust, may request discharge, without complaint or application, by filing  with the court by which the fiduciary was appointed the following: (1) a written statement of intent to resign, (2) a copy of the governing instrument which expressly authorizes resignation of the fiduciary, (3) proof of compliance with the terms, if any, set forth in the governing instrument, and (4) proof that the resigning fiduciary has served written notice of intent to resign on all co-fiduciaries and all parties to the estate or trust at least 20 days prior to filing with the court. 

     b.    A court in receipt of a request for discharge that meets the requirements established pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall discharge the fiduciary if: (1) no opposition has been filed, (2) the discharge will not be prejudicial to the estate or persons interested therein, and (3) either the estate or trust administration is concluded, there is a co-fiduciary with authority to continue with the administration, or there is a successor fiduciary appointed simultaneously with the discharge who is acceptable to the court. 

     c.     Upon finding that the requirements of this section have been met [The] the court [may] shall grant the discharge and the fiduciary shall be relieved of all further duties [and liabilities with respect to the trust] of his office, except accounting for and paying over to his successor all moneys or assets [pertaining to the trust, for which he is accountable] with which he is chargeable by virtue of his office.

(cf: N.J.S.3B:14-19)

 

     3.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would establish a process by which a fiduciary may be discharged from office.  The bill would amend the current law to specify that a fiduciary may be discharged, if certain conditions are met, upon filing a complaint or application with the court by which the fiduciary was appointed. 

     In addition, the bill would amend the current law governing the discharge of fiduciaries acting under a governing instrument, including a fiduciary appointed under a will to perform a particular trust.  The bill establishes a procedure under which such a fiduciary may request discharge without filing a complaint or application to the court.  The bill requires that the fiduciary file with the court by which the fiduciary was appointed the following: (1) a written statement of intent to resign, (2) a copy of the governing instrument which expressly authorizes resignation of the fiduciary, (3) proof of compliance with the terms, if any, set forth in the governing instrument, and (4) proof that the resigning fiduciary has served written notice of intent to resign on all co-fiduciaries and all parties to the estate or trust at least 20 days prior to filing with the court.  A court in receipt of a proper filing seeking discharge would be required to discharge the fiduciary if: (1) no opposition has been filed, (2) the discharge will not be prejudicial to the estate or persons interested therein, and (3) the estate or trust administration is concluded, there is a co-fiduciary with authority to continue with the administration, or there is a successor fiduciary appointed simultaneous with the discharge who is acceptable to the court.