Rep. Will Hartnett (R-Dallas) filed three bills supported by the Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law Section of the State Bar of Texas Friday.
The most significant is HB 1858, which is a new Durable Power of Attorney Act for Texas. It would replace the current statutory durable power of attorney form for a new form with a disclosure statement and places for the principal to specify if he wants the agent to be able to create, revoke amend trusts; make gifts; create or change rights of survivorship; create or change beneficiary designations; and waive the principal's right to be a beneficiary of a joint and survivor annuity. Most of the changes are based on the new Uniform Power of Attorney Act adopted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in 2006. It replaced the old Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act upon which Texas's current power of attorney statutes are based. The new act is more specific about the agent's duties and responsibilities.
HB 1837 would make numerous changes to Texas's guardianship statutes, including replacing the current 5% of income, 5% of disbursements method of determining guardianship compensation with a "reasonable compensation" standard. It also would permit a person with a physical disability only eligible to apply for the creation of a guardianship management trust (867 Trust).
HB 1835 makes mostly minor and technical changes to the Texas Trust Code. One change of significance to persons handling estates of 2010 decedents is an extension of the 9-month deadline for disclaimers to match the one in the 2010 tax act.