Bill S240-2009

Establishes a registry of wills and codicils

Provides that each county shall establish and maintain a registry of wills and codicils executed in that county for which the surrogate's court has jurisdiction; establishes what information shall be included in such registry.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 6, 2010: REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • Jan 7, 2009: REFERRED TO JUDICIARY

Memo

 BILL NUMBER:  S240

TITLE OF BILL :

An act to amend the surrogate's court procedure act, in relation to establishing a registry of wills and codicils

PURPOSE :

To establishing a registry of wills and codicils.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS :

This bill (the "Bill") adds a new section 2509 to the Surrogate's Court procedure act to require each county Surrogate to establish and maintain a registry of wills and codicils executed in such county. Such registry shall be available for public inspection and shall include the following information: (a) the name of the testator or testatrix; (b) the date on which such will or codicil was executed; (c) if a codicil, the date of execution of the will such codicil amends; and (d) the physical address at which such will or codicil is located.

Under the Bill, upon the execution of any will or codicil, the attorney for the maker of the will or codicil shall, within ten (10) days after its execution, deliver to the Surrogate Court the information set forth above. Such information may be delivered by mail or electronic means.

The Bill requires the Surrogate Court to maintain the format and content of the will registry on a computerized data base, which shall be updated at least monthly. The Court shall provide public access to the computerized data base in a manner that allows individuals to search the registry by name, date or address.

Nothing in the Bill shall be construed to require any testator or testatrix to file a will or codicil upon its execution nor shall any will or codicil be deemed null, void or otherwise without effect due to the failure to file.

EXISTING LAW :

Currently there is no will and codicil registry established in the surrogate Courts nor is there an obligation upon attorneys to file their client's wills and codicils with the Court. However, many Surrogate Courts permit the voluntary filing of wills with the Court for safe keeping.

JUSTIFICATION :

In many cases, upon the death of an individual, the decedent's family and attorney (if said attorney was not the preparer of the will) are unable to locate the decedent's most recent will. This Bill, would begin to alleviate that problem by requiring the attorney for the maker of a will or codicil to file a form with the Surrogate Court indicating, among other things, the physical address at which such will or codicil is located.

This Bill does not require that the will or codicil be placed with the Surrogate Court. Nor would it change the practice of Surrogate Courts permitting the voluntary filing of wills with the Court for safe keeping. Moreover, this Bill not only applies to the attorney for the maker of the will or codicil and not to the maker himself. An individual who prepares his/her own will without the assistance of an attorney would not be subject to the provisions on the Bill. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :

2007-08, S.659; 2005-06, S.1476; 2003-04, S.1164; 2001-02, S.7277.

EFFECTIVE DATE : Ninetieth day after becoming law.

Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ S. 240 A. 338 2009-2010 Regular Sessions S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y (PREFILED) January 7, 2009 ___________
IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sen. LAVALLE -- read twice and ordered print- ed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. THIELE -- read once and referred to the Committee on Judiciary AN ACT to amend the surrogate's court procedure act, in relation to establishing a registry of wills and codicils THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The surrogate's court procedure act is amended by adding a new section 2509 to read as follows: S 2509. REGISTRY OF WILLS AND CODICILS 1. EACH COUNTY SHALL ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN A REGISTRY OF WILLS AND CODICILS EXECUTED IN THE COUNTY FOR WHICH SUCH COURT HAS JURISDICTION. SUCH REGISTRY SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC INSPECTION AND SHALL INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION: (A) THE NAME OF THE TESTATOR OR TESTATRIX; (B) THE DATE ON WHICH SUCH WILL OR CODICIL WAS EXECUTED; (C) IF A CODICIL, THE DATE OF EXECUTION OF THE WILL SUCH CODICIL AMENDS; AND (D) THE PHYSICAL ADDRESS AT WHICH SUCH WILL OR CODICIL IS LOCATED. 2. UPON THE EXECUTION OF ANY WILL OR CODICIL, THE ATTORNEY FOR THE TESTATOR OR TESTATRIX SHALL, WITHIN TEN DAYS AFTER ITS EXECUTION, DELIV- ER TO THE COURT THE INFORMATION SET FORTH IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION FOR INCLUSION IN THE REGISTRY OF WILLS AND CODICILS. SUCH INFOR- MATION MAY BE DELIVERED BY MAIL OR ELECTRONIC MEANS AND SHALL BE DELIV- ERED IN THE FOLLOWING FORM, OR SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR FORM: "REGISTRY OF WILLS AND CODICILS COUNTY OF (INSERT COUNTY OF TESTATOR/TESTATRIX RESIDENCE)
NAME OF TESTATOR/TESTATRIX: (_______________) DATE WILL OR CODICIL WAS EXECUTED: (_______________) IF CODICIL, DATE OF ORIGINAL WILL: (_______________) PHYSICAL ADDRESS WHERE WILL (_______________) IS LOCATED; NO P.O. BOX: (_______________) (_______________)" 3. THE COURT SHALL MAINTAIN THE FORMAT AND CONTENT OF SUCH REGISTRY ON A COMPUTERIZED DATA BASE WHICH SHALL BE UPDATED AT LEAST MONTHLY AND SHALL PROVIDE A METHOD FOR WHICH REGISTRY INFORMATION MAY BE DELIVERED TO THE COURT ELECTRONICALLY. THE COURT SHALL PROVIDE PUBLIC ACCESS TO SUCH COMPUTERIZED DATA BASE IN A MANNER THAT ALLOWS INDIVIDUALS TO SEARCH THE REGISTRY OF WILLS AND CODICILS BY NAME, DATE OR ADDRESS. 4. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO REQUIRE ANY TESTATOR OR TESTATRIX TO FILE A WILL OR CODICIL UPON ITS EXECUTION. 5. NO WILL OR CODICIL SHALL BE DEEMED NULL, VOID OR OTHERWISE WITHOUT EFFECT DUE TO NONCOMPLIANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION. S 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.

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