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Fiduciary commissioners needed in Preston

KINGWOOD — Preston County is in need of fiduciary commissioners.

Commissioners accepted the resignation of Sheila K. William and David P. Brown at last week’s regular Preston County Commission meeting. County Administrator Kathy Mace said they both retired. 

Files were reassigned to the remaining two fiduciary commissioners. William’s went to Buddy Turner and Brown’s were assigned to Olivia DeVall. 

Four motions were required; one for each resignation and the reassignments. Commissioners Don Smith, Samantha Stone and Dave Price voted yes on all four motions.

Mace said she can only imagine it’s placing a burden on the two remaining fiduciary commissioners, going from four to two. 

“We certainly do not want to lose the two we have so we don’t want to overtax them,” Mace said.

She asked County Clerk Linda Huggins if candidates have to be attorneys. Huggins said no but if those who aren’t lawyers need to attend a training session. Smith asked where that was held and Huggins said the state auditor’s office is holding a class in June.

A Preston County fiduciary commissioner does not have to live in the county, Huggins said.

Fiduciary commissioners help advise and resolve a variety of disputes.  

West Virginia state code §44-3-7 states: “The county commission, whenever any controversy arises in connection with the probate of any will, or with the appointment and qualification of personal representatives, guardians, committees or curators, or with the settlement of the accounts of any fiduciary, may, of its own motion, or on the motion of any party thereto and shall, on the joint demand of the parties then appearing of record to the proceeding, refer the matter to a fiduciary commissioner to hear proof on the same, to make findings thereon, and to advise the commission on the law governing the decision of the matter. Any party may except to the commissioner’s finding of fact and law, and the commission shall hear the case on the commissioner’s report and the exceptions thereto, without taking any additional evidence. In hearing and reporting on any such matter the fiduciary commissioner shall be governed as to procedure by the law and practice, so far as is applicable, governing commissioners in chancery.”

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