The Wills, Trusts, and Successions committee met on February 13, 2014, and were presented with Judge Giarrusso's insights from CDC court. Here are the highlights:
· Judge Giarrusso discussed issues dealing with the fixing of administrators’ and tutors’ bonds. Attorneys should not assume that a judge will waive or reduce a bond on the request of the attorney. Instead, attorneys should file a preliminary descriptive list so that the bond might be set at 125%. Upon submission of the final descriptive list, the amount of the bond may need to be changed.
· Judge Giarrusso discussed issues involving succession orders signed by duty judges. She prefers to sign significant orders for succession cases assigned to her rather than to have them be signed by duty judges. She provided the daily time schedule for signing of succession orders and advised that, on Thursdays, judicial commitments are being decided, and, consequently, these are not good days for getting succession orders signed.
· Judge Giarrusso discussed and made recommendations for the formatting of letters testamentary/administration which are to be signed by the judge rather than the clerk in the Civil District Court. Additionally, she recommended that the signature page of any judgment of possession have some other language on it besides the signature so that the page cannot be separated from the judgment and attached to another unrelated judgment.
· Judge Giarrusso recommended that whenever there is a difficult issue involved with a pleading that the attorney make himself available by telephone to discuss the issue rather than leaving it to a court runner who may not have the background or answers necessary.