Closing Out 2011 and Looking Ahead to 2012
The 2011 legislative sessions have drawn to a close, marking another successful year for uniform laws in the states. With only a small handful of states still in session in late fall, the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) saw 230 uniform laws bills introduced, with 104 of them enacted. Legislative measures dealing with real property, trust, and estates uniform laws totaled 30% of ULC introductions and 35.6% of enactments. Of those introduced measures, the following individual uniform acts were introduced and acted on:
- Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act: Massachusetts, Mississippi (enacted), New York (en acted), Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
- Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death (TOD) Act: Hawaii (enacted), Illinois (enacted), Nebraska, Nevada (enacted), North Dakota (enacted), and Oregon (enacted).
- Uniform Assignment of Rents Act: Massachusetts and New Mexico (enacted).
- Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act: New Jersey (1994 version) and Mississippi (2008 version).
- Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act: Nevada (enacted), Oregon, and U.S. Virgin Islands.
- Uniform Residential Mortgage Satisfaction Act: New Mexico.
- Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts: Connecticut, Nevada, North Dakota (enacted), Oklahoma, and Tennessee.
- Uniform Estate Tax Apportionment Act and Probate Code 3-916: Colorado (enacted).
- Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdictions Act: Arkansas (enacted), Connecticut, Idaho (enacted), Indiana (enacted), Kentucky (enacted), Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri (enacted), Nebraska (enacted), New Mexico (enacted), Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota (enacted), Vermont (enacted), and Virginia (enacted).
- Uniform Probate Code 2008 Amendments: New Mexico (enacted).
- Uniform Disclaimer of Property Interests Act: Colorado (enacted) and Minnesota.
- Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act: Florida (enacted) and Mississippi.
- Uniform Principal and Income Act: Mississippi and Vermont.
- Uniform Principal and Income Act 2008 Amendments: Arkansas (enacted), Maine (enacted), Mississippi, Missouri (enacted), New Mexico (enacted), Oregon (enacted), and South Carolina.
- Insurable Interest Amendments to the Uniform Trust Code: Colorado (enacted), Kansas (enacted), New Mexico (enacted), and North Dakota (enacted).
- Uniform Trust Code: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and West Virginia (enacted).
- Uniform Power of Attorney Act: Alabama (enacted), Arkansas (enacted), Montana (enacted), Ohio, Texas, and West Virginia.
For 2012, legislation introduced in several states will carry over from 2011. These include bills introduced in Alaska, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vermont, and Washington. Carryover will result in at least 15 of the bills listed above surviving into the new year, along with several anticipated introductions near the close of 2011. Initial indications for new introductions in 2012 look promising. Even-numbered session years typically produce fewer legislative introductions and enactments. Many states have truncated or budget-only sessions and heightened restrictions on bill introductions, and a handful of states do not meet at all. At the close of 2011, however, it appears that we may see more than 50 legislative introductions on real property, trusts, and estates uniform laws.
The Drafting Committees on the Model Protection of Charitable Assets Act and the Harmonization of Unincorporated Business Entities Acts completed their work at the ULC’s 2011 Annual Meeting, and states will likely begin to consider the acts during the 2012 legislative sessions. The Drafting Committee on a Powers of Appointment Act has begun its work, and the Drafting Committee on a Revision of the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act is expected to begin in the spring. The Drafting Committee on a Manufactured Housing Act continues its work, with the goal of presenting the act for its second and final reading at the ULC’s 2012 Annual Meeting. The Study Committee on a Relocation of Easements Act also continues its work, and several new Study Committees of interest to RPTE Section members have been formed:
- Study Committee on Appointment and Powers of Real Estate Receivers: This Study Committee will consider and make recommendations concerning the need for and feasibility of drafting a uniform act on the appointment and powers of real estate receivers. This Committee began its work in fall 2011.
- Study Committee on Mortgage Foreclosures: This Study Committee will consider and make recommendations on the need for and feasibility of drafting a uniform act on mortgage foreclosures. This Committee also began its work in fall 2011.
- Joint Study Committee on Inter-Jurisdictional Recognition of Life Planning Documents: This Joint Study Committee is a collaborative effort of the ULC, the Uniform Law Conference of Canada, and the Mexican Center of Uniform Law. It will consider and make recommendations on the need for and feasibility of drafting a uniform act on inter-jurisdictional recognition of life planning documents, such as powers of attorney, health-care advance directives, and similar instruments. It will also consider the feasibility of harmonized Canadian, Mexican, and U.S. legislation that would provide for the recognition, within the United States, among the Canadian provinces, and between Canada, Mexico, and the United States, of life planning docments that are effective under the applicable local law of the relevant state or province.
Finally, the ULC’s upcoming Annual Meeting will take place July 13–19, 2012, in Nashville, Tennessee.
For questions or information on any of these legislative issues, or study and drafting projects, please visit the Uniform Law Commission’s web site at www.uniformlaws.org or contact Kieran Marion at email@example.com.