Probate & Trust and Elder Law

CCS/HCS/SB 100 – Modifies various provisions relating to various court proceedings, court costs, and surcharges and judicial personnel. (See also Judicial Administration)  

*BANKRUPTCY PROCEEDINGS EXEMPTIONS – Under current law a person, either as a participant or a beneficiary, can exempt from attachment in bankruptcy proceedings the right to receive money from a retirement or profit–sharing plan. This act includes a person’s interest in health savings plans and inherited accounts to this list of exemptions. (This provision drafted by The Missouri Bar’s Probate and Trust Law Committee and approved by the Board of Governors).  

HB 163 – Current statute provides that all public administrators are to be elected in the county or city they serve. This act will make the St. Louis City public administrator an appointed position. The public administrator will be appointed by a majority of the circuit and associate circuit judges of the 22nd judicial circuit. The qualifications and requirements for this appointed position will be the same as those for elected public administrators. (Signed 5/14/13)  

SCS/HB 329
– Modifies the law affecting financial institutions.  

Allows up to $9,999 to be set aside in an irrevocable personal funeral trust without that trust being considered an asset when determining eligibility for public assistance. The trust must be designated to pay for certain burial and funeral costs, and the trustee must be a state or federally chartered financial institution authorized to exercise trust powers.  

No person or entity may charge more than 10% of trust assets for creation of the trust and no more than 3% for maintenance of the trust. Trustees may commingle personal funeral trust accounts so long as accurate records are kept. The standard of care for investments by the trustee is that of a prudent investor.  

Excess money left in the account not required for burial or funeral purposes shall be paid to the state up to the amount of public assistance provided. Any money remaining after paying the state is paid to those designated in the trust.  

Currently, trust companies, including private trust companies, are examined by the Director of Finance every twelve or eighteen months. This act provides that private trust companies will be examined at least once every thirty–six months.  

*Under current law, a person, either as a participant or a beneficiary, can exempt from attachment in bankruptcy proceedings the right to receive money from a retirement or profit–sharing plan. This act includes a person’s interest in health savings plans and inherited IRS’s to this list of exemptions.  

Note: The language in this section of the bill was drafted by the bar’s Probate & Trust Law Committee. (See also Commercial Law)