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The court shall direct the petitioner to report the results of, or make and report back concerning, a reasonably diligent search for the alleged decedent in any manner that may seem advisable, including any or all of the following methods: (1) by inserting in one or more suitable periodicals a notice requesting information from any person having knowledge of the whereabouts of the alleged decedent; (2) by notifying law enforcement officials and public welfare agencies in appropriate locations of the disappearance of the alleged decedent; (3) by engaging the services of an investigator. (e) If more than one personal representative is serving an estate, the court in its discretion shall apportion the compensation among the personal representatives, but the total compensation for all personal representatives of an estate must not exceed the maximum compensation allowable under subsections (a) and (b) for an estate with a sole personal representative. (d) Notwithstanding subsections (a) and (b), notice to creditors under this section is not required if a personal representative is not appointed to administer the decedent's estate during the one year period following the death of the decedent. For purposes of Section 62-3-803, the claim is considered to be presented when the application or petition for appointment is filed with the written statement of the claim attached.
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In the absence of a request, or if the request is denied, the commencement of a formal proceeding has no effect on the powers and duties of a previously appointed personal representative other than those relating to distribution. If the original will is neither in the possession of the court nor accompanies the petition and no authenticated copy of a will probated in another jurisdiction accompanies the petition, the petition also must state the contents of the will, and indicate that it is lost, destroyed, or otherwise unavailable. Effect of Amendment The 2013 amendment substituted "in the six subitems" for "in the seven subitems", and inserted "and" before "the statements" in subsection (a)(2). (a) Upon commencement of a formal testacy proceeding or at any time after that, the court shall fix a time and place of hearing. Any party to a formal proceeding who opposes the probate of a will for any reason shall state in his pleadings his objections to probate of the will. The personal representative's failure to give this information is a breach of his duty to the persons concerned but does not affect the validity of his appointment, his powers, or other duties. (B) Within ninety days of a demand by an interested person for an inventory of nonprobate property, the personal representative shall: (1) prepare a list of the property owned by the decedent at the time of his death that is not probate property, so far as is known to the personal representative which may, at the discretion of the personal representative, include the value and nature of the decedent's interest in the property on the date of the decedent's death; (2) mail a copy of the list to each interested person who has requested the list; and (3) file proof of the mailing with the probate court. Upon petition of the personal representative, the probate court may consent on behalf of any unborn, unascertained, or incapacitated heirs, beneficiaries, or devisees whose interests are affected by the donation after determining that the donation of the qualified real property interest shall not adversely affect them or would most likely be agreed to by them if they were before the court and capable of consenting. Effect of Amendment The 2013 amendment added subsection (26) relating to access to electronic files, and made other nonsubstantive changes. This restriction does not apply when any corepresentative receives and receipts for property due the estate, when the concurrence of all cannot readily be obtained in the time reasonably available for emergency action necessary to preserve the estate. Effect of Amendment The 2013 amendment inserted ", written notice of the delegation signed by the others and setting forth the duties delegated must be filed with the court" in the third sentence. Unless the terms of the will otherwise provide, every power exercisable by personal corepresentatives may be exercised by the one or more remaining after the appointment of one or more is terminated and, if one of two or more nominated as coexecutors is not appointed, those appointed may exercise all the powers incident to the office. No such additional commission is payable by an estate if the probate judge determines that a personal representative has acted unreasonably in the accomplishment of the assigned duties, or that unreasonable delay has been encountered. (a) After notice to all interested persons, on petition of an interested person or on appropriate motion if administration is under Part 5 [Sections 62-3-501 et seq.], the propriety of employment of any person by a personal representative including any attorney, auditor, investment advisor, or other specialized agent or assistant, the reasonableness of the compensation of any person so employed, or the reasonableness of the compensation determined by the personal representative for his own services, may be reviewed by the court. (a) Unless notice has already been given under this section, a personal representative upon his appointment must publish a notice to creditors once a week for three successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county announcing his appointment and address and notifying creditors of the estate to present their claims within eight months after the date of the first publication of the notice or be forever barred. Effect of Amendment The 2013 amendment, in subsection (a), substituted "must publish" for "shall publish"; in subsection (b), substituted "within one year of the decedent's death" for "within eight months from of the published notice as provided in (a) above,", and substituted "whichever is earlier" for "whichever is later"; and added subsection (d), relating to when notice is not required. (a) Unless an estate is insolvent, the personal representative, with the consent of all successors whose interests would be affected, may waive any defense of limitations available to the estate. (c) All claims against a decedent's estate which arise at or after the death of the decedent, including claims of the State and any subdivision thereof, whether due or to become due, absolute or contingent, liquidated or unliquidated, founded on contract, tort, or other legal basis, are barred against the estate, the personal representative, and the heirs and devisees of the decedent, unless presented as follows: (1) a claim based on a contract with the personal representative within eight months after performance by the personal representative is due; or (2) any other claim, within the later of eight months after it arises, or the time specified in subsection (a)(1). If the claim is contingent or unliquidated, the nature of the uncertainty must be stated.
(b) A petition for adjudication of intestacy and appointment of an administrator in intestacy must request a judicial finding and order that the decedent left no will and determining the heirs, contain the statements required by (1) and (4) of Section 62-3-301(a) and indicate whether administration under Part 5 [Sections 62-3-501 et seq.] is sought. Notice must be given in the manner prescribed by Section 62-1-401 by the petitioner to the persons herein enumerated and to any additional person who has filed a demand for notice under Section 62-3-204. A personal representative may inform other persons of his appointment by delivery or ordinary first class mail. (C) The court, upon application of the personal representative, may extend the time for filing or making either the inventory and appraisement or list of nonprobate property provided for in this section. A guardian ad litem must be appointed to represent the interest of any unborn, unascertained, or incapacitated persons. 171, Sections 29, 30; 1990 Act No; 521, Section 49; 2000 Act No. Powers and duties of successor personal representative. When a corepresentative has been delegated to act for the others, written notice of the delegation signed by the others and setting forth the duties delegated must be filed with the court. (c) The provisions of this section do not apply in a case where there is a contract providing for the compensation to be paid for such services, or where the will otherwise directs, or where the personal representative qualified to act before June 28, 1984. If any personal representative or person nominated as personal representative defends or prosecutes any proceeding in good faith, whether successful or not, he is entitled to receive from the estate his necessary expenses and disbursements including reasonable attorneys' fees incurred. Any person who has received excessive compensation from an estate for services rendered may be ordered to make appropriate refunds. (b) A personal representative may give written notice by mail or other delivery to any creditor, notifying the creditor to present his claim within one year of the decedent's death, or within sixty days from the mailing or other delivery of such notice, whichever is earlier, or be forever barred. If the defense is not waived, no claim which was barred by any statute of limitations at the time of the decedent's death shall be allowed or paid. (d) Nothing in this section shall be construed as placing a limitation on the time for: (1) commencing a proceeding to enforce a mortgage, pledge, lien, or other security interest upon property of the estate; (2) to the limits of the insurance protection only, commencing a proceeding to establish liability of the decedent or the personal representative for which he is protected by liability insurance; or (3) collecting compensation for services rendered to the estate or reimbursement for expenses advanced by the personal representative or by the attorney or accountant for the personal representative of the estate. If the claim is secured, the security must be described.
(f) A personal representative appointed by a court of the decedent's domicile has priority over all other persons except where the decedent's will nominates different persons to be personal representatives in this State and in the state of domicile. The validity of an order which is issued or filing which is accepted without compliance with this requirement is not affected by the error, but the petitioner receiving the order or the person making the filing may be liable for any damage caused by the absence of notice. (2) An application for informal probate of a will shall state the following in addition to the statements required by (1): (i) that the original of the decedent's last will is in the possession of the court, or accompanies the application, or that an authenticated copy of a will probated in another jurisdiction accompanies the application; (ii) that the applicant, to the best of his knowledge, believes the will to have been validly executed; (iii) that after the exercise of reasonable diligence, the applicant is unaware of any instrument revoking the will, and that the applicant believes that the instrument which is the subject of the application is the decedent's last will. (a) The moving party must give notice as described by Section 62-1-401 of his application for informal probate to any person demanding it pursuant to Section 62-3-204, and to any personal representative of the decedent whose appointment has not been terminated. (b) If an informal probate is granted, within thirty days thereafter the applicant shall give written information of the probate to the heirs (determined as if the decedent died intestate) and devisees. Part 4 Formal Testacy and Appointment Proceedings Formal testacy proceedings; nature; when commenced. Termination of any previous informal appointment of a personal representative, which may be appropriate in view of the relief requested and findings, is governed by Section 62-3-612. (B) After a final order in a testacy proceeding has been entered, no petition for probate of any other instrument of the decedent may be entertained, except incident to a petition to vacate or modify a previous probate order and subject to the time limits of Section 62-3-412. (4) The order originally rendered in the testacy proceeding may be modified or vacated, if appropriate under the circumstances by the order of probate of the later-offered will or the order redetermining heirs. If the proceeding precedes any appointment of a personal representative, it shall stay any pending informal appointment proceedings as well as any commenced thereafter. Administration under Part 5 [Sections 62-3-501 et seq.] is a single in rem proceeding to secure complete administration and settlement of a decedent's estate under the continuing authority of the court which extends until entry of an order approving distribution of the estate and discharging the personal representative or other order terminating the proceeding. Effect of Amendment The 2013 amendment substituted "interested persons" for "interested parties" in the second sentence. A petition for administration under Part 5 [Sections 62-3-501 et seq.] may be filed by any interested person or by a personal representative at any time, a prayer for administration under Part 5 [Sections 62-3-501 et seq.] may be joined with a petition in a testacy or appointment proceeding, or the court may order administration under Part 5 [Sections 62-3-501 et seq.] on its own motion. (b) If a will has been previously probated in informal proceedings, the effect of the filing of a petition for administration under Part 5 [Sections 62-3-501 et seq.] is as provided for formal testacy proceedings by Section 62-3-401. Any bond required by Section 62-3-605 may not be waived under the provisions of this section. (c) The termination of appointment under this section shall relieve the personal representative's attorney of record of any further duties to the court. Nothing in this section affects the duty of the personal representative to administer and distribute the estate in accordance with the rights of claimants, the surviving spouse, any minor and dependent children, and any pretermitted child of the decedent as described elsewhere in this Code. (b) Within ninety days after his appointment he shall file with the court the inventory and appraisement required by Section 62-3-706.