New and Revised Orphans' Court Rules to be Recommended

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As part of an ongoing effort to standardize and clarify the rules that govern Orphans' Court practice, the Orphans' Court Procedural Rules Committee intends to recommend that the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania replace Orphans’ Court Rules 1.1 through 14.5 with new rules. The new rules address, among other things, the filing and audit of Accounts, procedures for Orphans’ Court matters raised by citation and petition, pre-hearing and post-hearing dispositions, and rules for practice before the Registers of Wills. In some cases, the current Orphans’ Court rule has not been modified substantially, but is merely being relocated to a new section based upon the revised structure of the proposed new rules. Nonetheless, the proposal is a major change to the rules governing most fiduciary litigation that have existed for nearly forty years. Click here to view the new rules.

The Orphans' Court Procedural Rules Committee has invited written suggestions and comments to be submitted to counsel for the Committee by June 13, 2013, at the following address:

Lisa M. Rhode, Counsel
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Orphans’ Court Procedural Rules Committee
601 Commonwealth Avenue, Suite 6200
Harrisburg, PA 17106-2635
fax: (717) 231-9551
e-mail: orphanscourtproceduralrules@pacourts.us

We expect there will be substantial comments from the legal community and from trust companies. Ultimately, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania will decide whether to adopt these new Orphans' Court Rules. If you have questions about the proposed changes, please contact a member of the McNees Orphans' Court Litigation Group.