BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



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          Date of Hearing:   May 8, 2012

                           ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
                                  Mike Feuer, Chair
            AB 2683 (Committee on Judiciary) - As Amended:  April 23, 2012

                                  PROPOSED CONSENT
           
          SUBJECT  :  CIVIL LAW: OMNIBUS

           KEY ISSUE  :  SHOULD VARIOUS NON-CONTROVERSIAL TECHNICAL AND 
          CLARIFYING CHANGES BE MADE TO THE PROBATE CODE?

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  As currently in print this bill is keyed 
          non-fiscal.

                                      SYNOPSIS
          
          This non-controversial bill is the Assembly Judiciary 
          Committee's omnibus civil law bill.  In order to be included in 
          the bill, each provision must be non-controversial and not so 
          substantive as to be more appropriate for a stand-alone bill.  
          Furthermore, if a non-controversial provision later becomes 
          controversial, that provision will be removed from the bill.  
          This year's omnibus bill merely enacts technical changes to a 
          few sections of the Probate Code.  First, the bill makes 
          technical changes to two statutorily specified notices to 
          creditors in decedent's estates.  In addition, the bill corrects 
          a drafting error from last year's AB 458 that resulted in an 
          erroneous cross-reference in the law governing venue in probate 
          guardianship cases.  The bill is supported by the Judicial 
          Council and has no known opposition.

           SUMMARY  :  Makes non-controversial and clarifying changes to 
          sections of the Probate Code.  Specifically,  this bill  :   

          1)Corrects an erroneous cross-reference enacted by AB 458 
            (Atkins) of 2011, concerning venue rules for certain 
            guardianship cases, by replacing "Section 3140" with the 
            correct reference "Section 3410."

          2)Amends two statutorily specified Judicial Council forms to 
            conform those forms' statements concerning time limits on 
            filing creditors' claims in decedents' estates to the actual 
            requirements for filing these claims established in Section 








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            9100 of the Probate Code.

           EXISTING LAW  :  

          1)Provides that subdivisions (b) to (e), inclusive, of Section 
            3140 of the Family Code shall apply to communications between 
            courts, as specified.  (Probate Code Section 2204.)

          2)Specifies two notices advising creditors of decedents' estates 
            of certain time limits for filing a claim with the court and 
            the personal representative of the estate.  (Probate Code 
            Sections 8100 and 9052.)


           COMMENTS  :  This non-controversial committee bill is the Assembly 
          Judiciary Committee's omnibus civil law bill.  In order to be 
          included in the bill, each provision must be non-controversial 
          and not so substantive as to be more appropriate for a 
          stand-alone bill.  Furthermore, if a non-controversial provision 
          later becomes controversial, that provision will be removed from 
          the bill.
           
          Harmonizing notice to creditors in decedents' estates with 
          statutory requirements  .  The Judicial Council has adopted two 
          forms that contain advice to creditors of a decedent about their 
          responsibility to file claims with the court and with the 
          personal representative of the debtor's probate estate.  First, 
          the Notice of Petition to Administer Estate (form DE-121) must 
          be used by a petitioner for the appointment of a personal 
          representative of a decedent's estate to give notice to persons 
          interested in the estate that a petition to administer the 
          estate has been filed and the date, time, and place of the court 
          hearing on the petition.  Pursuant to Probate Code Section 8110, 
          this notice must be mailed before the hearing to the decedent's 
          heirs known or ascertainable by the petitioner and to each 
          devisee, executor, and alternate executor named in any will of 
          the decedent offered for probate.  Although this notice is not 
          mailed to the decedent's creditors who are not also heirs or 
          beneficiaries, it is addressed in part to those creditors.  Some 
          of the decedent's creditors will become aware of the contents of 
          this notice because the notice must also be published in advance 
          of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation where the 
          decedent was domiciled or, in certain cases, where he or she 
          held property.  









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          The contents of form DE-121 are prescribed in detail by Probate 
          Code Section 8100.  According to the Judicial Council, a 
          particular sentence specified by Section 8100 and form DE-121 
          could be incorrect if a special administrator with general 
          powers (under Probate Code section 8545) has been appointed in 
          the estate because a special administrator with general powers 
          is defined as a general personal representative in Probate Code 
          section 58(b).  In that case, four months from the appointment 
          of such a special administrator could pass before the hearing 
          date on the petition for appointment of a personal 
          representative, which may potentially mislead and confuse 
          creditors of the estate.

          Unfortunately, Form DE-121 cannot simply be revised by the 
          Judicial Council.  Because its relevant statements to creditors 
          are mandated by Section 8100, that section must be amended 
          before the form can be revised.  To resolve this problem, this 
          bill would clarify appropriate application of the time limits in 
          the notice specified by Section 8100, and a related notice 
          specified by Section 9052.

           Correcting an erroneous cross-reference.   AB 458 (Atkins), Ch. 
          102, Stats. 2011, added Probate Code Section 2204, which sets 
          out new venue rules for guardianship cases where a prior custody 
          action involving the proposed ward has already been filed in a 
          county other than the county where the guardianship petition was 
          filed.  Unfortunately, AB 458 contained an incorrect 
          cross-reference that this bill now seeks to fix.  Subdivision 
          (b) of Section 2204 governs inter-court communications in these 
          cases, and paragraph (4) currently states that the provisions of 
          subdivisions (b) to (e) of "Section 3140" shall apply to 
          communications between courts.  This bill replaces "Section 
          3140" with the correct cross-reference "Section 3410", which as 
          part of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement 
          Act is the model for these communications. 



           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          Judicial Council of California

           Opposition 








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          None on file
           

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Anthony Lew / JUD. / (916) 319-2334