COLUMBUS – This week, State Rep. Jennifer Gross (R-West Chester) supported House Bill 7, legislation that enacts several important changes to Ohio’s probate and trust laws.
Gross highlighted a provision of the bill that permits specially trained mental health nurse practitioners to testify and provide opinions on civil commitment hearings at both the initial phase and at extension hearings.
“With a shortage of psychiatrists, allowing mental health nurse practitioners to testify at extension hearings will help those with mental health issues get the help they need,” said Gross.
Other key provisions of House Bill 7 include:
- Amending existing name change procedure to make the process faster, more efficient and at a lower cost to applicants by eliminating hearing and publication notice mandates and granting probate courts more discretion to determine the best way to administer each action on a case-by-case basis;
- Modifying the treatment of a non-charitable trust by enabling modifications and further clarifying procedurally the removal or replacement of a trustee;
- Allowing probate courts to appoint appropriate non-profit corporations organized under the laws of this state to be guardians of the person;
- Improving the position of a surviving spouse when taking ownership of one or more of a deceased spouse’s automobiles; and
- Permitting elected judges the discretion to order the referral of a case to a private judge, rather than mandate it upon request of the parties, outlining procedure for termination.
The legislation has the support of the Ohio Association of County Boards of Developmental Disabilities, Ohio Supreme Court, Ohio Judicial Conference, and Ohio State Bar Association.
H.B. 7 unanimously passed the Ohio House on Wednesday, March 3. It now moves to the Senate for further consideration.