Here is an interesting question posed by Rob Clofine, of The Elder Law Firm of Robert Clofine, www.estateattorney.com, followed by comments from other practitioners:
The Act adds new PEF Code Section 3163. Why was this Section needed? Didn’t the court already have personal jurisdiction over a resident personal representative by virtue of being present in the Commonwealth, and didn’t the court already have jurisdiction over a non-resident personal representative by virtue of 42 Pa.C.S.A. section 5322(a)(7)?
James Mannion of Mannion Prior, LLP, www.mannionprior.com, offers this answer:
The Long Arm Statute in Title 42 provides a basis to obtain personal jurisdiction over a personal representative, but some practitioners thought you still needed a citation in order to actually obtain that personal jurisdiction because of Section 764. New Section 3163 expressly provides that a personal representative submits to the jurisdiction of the Orphans’ Court when appointed by the Register, and that a proceeding against a personal representative can be initiated by notice only (i.e., not citation needed). It somewhat parallels Section 7712(a), with respect to trustees.
Thomas Work of Stevens & Lee, www.stevenslee.com, adds this note:
Correct. The confusion results not from the recent statute, but from the failure to change the jurisdictional and some procedural sections early in the PEF Code after Title 42 was revised. Another example is the concept in Title 42 that divisions of the Court of Common Pleas are administrative only and each has the jurisdiction of the entire Court.
Richard L. Grossman of Smith, Aker, Grossman & Hollinger, Norristown, suggests that colleagues read the Wlodarczyk case, 16 Fiduc. Rep. 2d 44; affirmed, 685 A.2d 1049.