SRC-SLL C.S.S.B. 506 75(R)BILL ANALYSIS Senate Research CenterC.S.S.B. 506 By: Harris Jurisprudence 3-18-97 Committee Report (Substituted) DIGEST Currently, Texas law requires the social security number of the decedent and of the applicant to be included in all applications for letters testamentary or letters of administration. Requiring the disclosure of social security numbers in documents which become public records is viewed as unnecessarily intrusive of a person's right to privacy and gives rise to the potential for misuse of those numbers by persons who would not otherwise have access to them. Additionally, a personal representative of an estate does not have the right to abandon property. S.B. 506 will remove the requirement that the social security number of the decedent and the applicant be included in all applications for letters testamentary or letters of administration, but will authorize the court to request that information. This bill will also give personal representatives, independent executors, and independent administrators the right to abandon worthless property. PURPOSE As proposed, C.S.S.B. 506 deletes the requirement that the social security number of the decedent and the applicant be included in all applications for letters testamentary or letters of administration, but authorizes the court to request that information, and will give personal representatives, independent executors, and independent administrators the right to abandon worthless property. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY This bill does not grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, institution, or agency. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Section 36, Probate Code, to authorize the court to request an applicant or court-appointed fiduciary to produce other information identifying an applicant, decedent, or personal representative, including social security numbers, in addition to identifying information the applicant or fiduciary is required to produce under this code. Requires the court to maintain the information required under this subsection, and prohibits the information from being filed with the clerk. SECTION 2. Amends Section 42(b)(1), Probate Code, to provide that a child, for the purpose of inheritance, is the child of his biological father if the child is born under circumstances described by Section 151.002, rather than 12.02, Family Code, is adjudicated to be the child of the father by court decree as provided by Chapter 160, rather than 13, Family Code, or if the father executed a statement of paternity as provided by Section 160.202, rather than 13.22, Family Code. SECTION 3. Amends Section 69(a), Probate Code, to require, if, after making a will, the testator is divorced or the testator's marriage is annulled, all provisions in the the will in favor of the testator's former spouse, or appointing such spouse to any fiduciary capacity under the will or with respect to the estate or person of the testator's children, to be read as if the former spouse failed to survive the testator. SECTION 4. Amends Section 81(a), Probate Code, to delete a requirement that an application for probate of a written will must state the social security number of the applicant and of the decedent. Makes a conforming change. SECTION 5. Amends Section 82, Probate Code, to delete a requirement that an application for letters of administration when no will is alleged to exist must state the social security number of the applicant and of the decedent if known. Makes a conforming change. SECTION 6. Amends Section 146, Probate Code, by amending Subsection (b) and adding Subsections (d) and (e), to require certain creditors, within a certain time period, to give notice to, rather than notify by certified or registered mail, the independent executor of the creditor's election to have the creditor's claim approved. Requires an unsecured creditor who has a claim for money against an estate and receives a notice under Section 294(d) of this code to give notice to the independent executor of the nature and amount of the claim not later than the 120th day after the date on which the notice is received, or the claim is barred. Sets forth requirements for the notice required by Subsections (b) and (d) of this section. SECTION 7. Amends Section 234(a), Probate Code, to authorize a personal representative, in certain circumstances, to abandon the administration of property of the estate that is burdensome or worthless. Authorizes abandoned real or personal property to be foreclosed by a secured party, trustee, or mortgagee without further court order. SECTION 8. Amends Section 281, Probate Code, to require certain exempt property to be liable for the payment of Class 1 claims, rather than the funeral expenses and the expenses of last sickness of the deceased, when claims are presented within the time prescribed therefor. SECTION 9. Amends Section 290, Probate Code, to make a conforming change. SECTION 10. Amends Section 299, Probate Code, to provide that the general statutes of limitation are tolled on the date a claim for money is filed or deposited with the clerk, rather than by filing a claim which is legally allowed and approved; or on the date a suit is brought against the personal representative of an estate with respect to a claim of the estate that is not required to be presented to the personal representative, rather than by bringing a suit upon a rejected and disapproved claim within ninety days after such rejection or disapproval. SECTION 11. Amends Sections 306(e), (f), (i), and (j), Probate Code, to require the court, if the representative defaults in such payment of performance, on application of the claim holder, to authorize foreclosure by the claim holder as prescribed by Subsections (f) through (k) of this section. Requires an application by a claimholder under Subsection (e) of this section, rather than if the court authorizes a claimholder, to foreclose the claimholder's lien or security interest on certain property to be supported by affidavit of the claimholder containing certain information. Requires the court, if the court finds at a hearing that there is a default in payment or performance under the contract that secures the payment of the claim, to take certain actions. Requires the court, when the court grants a claimholder the right to foreclosure, to authorize, rather than enter an order granting permission, the claimholder to foreclose the claimholder's mortgage, lien, or security interest. Makes conforming changes. SECTION 12. Effective date: September 1, 1997. Makes application of this Act prospective. SECTION 13. Emergency clause. SUMMARY OF COMMITTEE CHANGES SECTION 1. Adds Section 36, Probate Code, to authorize the court to request certain information from an applicant or court-appointed fiduciary. Sets forth procedures for maintaining the information. Makes conforming changes. SECTION 7. Amends Section 234(a), Probate Code, at the end of (a)(6), to add the following: "Abandoned real or personal property may be foreclosed by a secured party, trustee or mortgagee without further court order." SECTION 11. Amends Sections 306(e), (f), (i), and (j), Probate Code, to delete proposed amendment to Subsection (c). Sets forth actions the court is required to take if the court finds that there is a default in payment or performance under a contract that secures payment of a claim. Makes conforming and nonsubstantive changes.