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Introduced Version House Bill 2967 History

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WEST virginia Legislature

2017 regular session

Introduced

House Bill 2967

By Delegates Nelson and Boggs
By Request of The Tax and Revenue Department

[Introduced March 13, 2017; Referred
to the Committee on Finance.]

A BILL to amend and reenact §44-3A-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating generally to administration of estates and trusts; transferring to county commissions duty to administer fiduciary supervisor/fiduciary commissioner qualifying test and provide annual training seminar.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia


That §44-3A-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; to read as follows:


ARTICLE 3A. OPTIONAL PROCeDuRE FOR PROOF OF CLAIM.

§44-3A-3. Office of fiduciary supervisor created; general powers; qualifications; tests for qualification; training program; salary.


(a) There is hereby created within the county commission an office, designated the fiduciary supervisor, who shall be appointed by order of the commission and whose office, with the consent of the clerk of the county commission, shall be housed within the office of such clerk or shall be housed in such other office as the commission may designate. Such fiduciary supervisor shall at the local option of each such commission, be either a part-time or full-time employee as may be required by the county commission and shall receive such salary as may be fixed by order of the county commission.

(b) The fiduciary supervisor shall have general supervision of all fiduciary matters and of the fiduciaries or personal representatives thereof and of all fiduciary commissioners and of all matters referred to such commissioners and shall make all ex parte settlements of the accounts of such fiduciaries except as to those matters referred to fiduciary commissioners for settlement.

(c) The county commission shall determine that the person to be appointed as fiduciary supervisor is fully qualified by education or experience, or both, to perform the duties assigned to such office by this chapter or other provisions of this code. Such person shall have the requisite knowledge of the legal issues raised and problems presented by any of the proceedings had and documents filed pursuant to the chapter, the procedures required with respect thereto, the rights of all parties and interested persons with respect to such procedures and the duties to be performed in examining and approving the several and various papers and documents presented to the fiduciary supervisor. The State Tax Commissioner Each county commission shall design and supervise a test to be given to all persons selected or appointed as fiduciary supervisor who are not licensed to practice law in this state, if any, which test shall include such matters as the Tax Commissioner county commission deems appropriate to determine the proficiency, experience, knowledge and skill to perform all of the duties imposed upon or to be imposed upon fiduciary supervisors generally. Such test shall be administered under the authority of the State Tax Commissioner county commission by such person or persons as it he or she may designate either at the county wherein the fiduciary supervisor is to serve or at such other place as the Tax Commissioner county commission may designate. The results of the test given to any person or persons shall be kept confidential except as to those persons who have completed the same to the satisfaction of the Tax Commissioner county commission and except as to those persons who may desire their individual test results to be made public. Each county commission shall be notified as to the names of those persons who have satisfactorily completed such test. The Tax Commissioner shall provide for the uniformity of the test to be given and for grading and evaluating the results thereof.

The Tax Commissioner Each county commission that has appointed a fiduciary supervisor who is not licensed to practice law in this state shall at least annually conduct a training program for fiduciary supervisors who are not licensed to practice law in this state. The training program shall be conducted at such times and places and consist of such subjects as the Tax Commissioner county commission may determine. All fiduciary supervisors who are not licensed to practice law shall be required to attend such training programs and those supervisors as are so licensed may attend.

(d) The fiduciary supervisor shall give bond with good security to be approved by the county commission in an amount equal to the amount posted by the clerk of the county commission in the county wherein such fiduciary supervisor is to serve.

(e) Neither the fiduciary supervisor nor any person to whom the duties of fiduciary supervisor have been delegated, in whole or in part (excluding fiduciary commissioners) shall engage in the practice of law, for compensation or otherwise, with respect to the administration of any estate or trust wherein the fiduciary thereof has qualified in his or her county or with respect to any proceedings before him or her or which are or may be referred to a fiduciary commissioner in his or her county. Nor shall a fiduciary commissioner or special fiduciary commissioner engage in the practice of law with respect to matters referred to him or her as such commissioner. Any fiduciary supervisor or person to whom any of the functions or duties of the fiduciary supervisor have been delegated or fiduciary commissioner or special fiduciary commissioner who so engages in the practice of law contrary to the limited prohibitions of this section, shall be removed from his or her office or employment and, in addition thereto, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined $1,000.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to remove the requirements for the State Tax Commissioner to administer the fiduciary supervisor/fiduciary commissioner qualifying test and annual training seminar.  These responsibilities will be given to the respective county commissions.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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