Summary of New Legislation

HB 444 makes amendments to Miss. Code Ann. § 21-19-11, which authorizes municipalities to enter upon and clean land that “is in such a state of uncleanliness as to be a menace to the public health, safety and welfare of the community,…”  and to file a lien against the land for the cost. The changes include providing that the notice of hearing to determine if the property is a menace does not need to be sent to the property if the property is apparently vacant; that if the property is owned by the state, the notification process is not necessary if the Secretary of State authorizes the municipality to clean the property; that the municipality may re-enter the property to clean for up to two years; and that the notice of lien for costs incurred by the municipality must be filed in the chancery clerk’s office as other liens and encumbrances are rather than in the circuit clerk’s office as a judgment. This act becomes effective on July 1, 2020.

HB 1156 enacts the Revised Mississippi Law on Notarial Acts. See Ken Farmer’s summary above. This act becomes effective on July 1, 2021.

HB 1439 amends Section 9-3-82 to provide that a certified copy of a sixteenth section lease must be provided to the Secretary of State after recording. Presumably the school board has this responsibility, though the statute does not specify this. This act becomes effective on July 1, 2020.

SB 2430 enacts a new Section 15-1-83 and clarifies the statute of limitations for appraisers and brokers. The statute of limitations for an action based on a real estate appraisal is the earlier of five years after the date that the appraisal was relied upon by the intended user or three years. The statute of limitations for an action against a broker is the earlier of five years after the date of the consummation of the transaction out of which the action arose or three years. For both appraisers and brokers, the statute of limitations does not apply to an action in which the appraiser or broker fraudulently inflated the value of the real estate. This act become effective on July 1, 2020.

SB 2553 adopts the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act. This act will apply to most partition actions of land inherited by intestate succession. Distinctive features of a partition under this new act are that it requires a sign giving notice of the action to be posted on the property, requires an appraisal or other valuation of the property before the sale, gives the other cotenants the right to purchase the interest of the cotenant seeking the partition based on the appraised price, and requires an open-market sale by a broker rather than a partition sale by commissioners. The new act also reinforces the traditional preference for a partition in kind.  A 2009 article from the ABA Journal gives some background about the concerns that led to the drafting of the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act: This act becomes effective on July 1, 2020. [This bill has been sent to the Governor for signing, due July 1]

SB 2850 makes changes to the process for having a will admitted to probate as a muniment of title only. It amends Section 91-5-35(1) to increase the limit on personal property in Mississippi from $10,000 to $75,000. It also amends Section 91-35(2) and (3) to expand the pool of persons who can sign the petition. This act applies to wills admitted to probate after July 1, 2020.

SB 2851 adopts portions of the Uniform Probate Code. The portions of this bill that are the most relevant to real estate lawyers are Sections 1 to -19, which adopt the Mississippi Real Property Transfer on Death Act. This Act will be codified as new Sections 91-27-1 to -19 of the Mississippi Code. The Real Property Transfer on Death Act allows the owner of land to execute a deed that provides that the land will be transferred to another person on the owner’s death. The deed has to be recorded prior to the transferor’s death. A transfer-on-death deed is effective without delivery and without consideration. The transferor may revoke the deed. A will entered into by the transferor after the deed is recorded does not supersede the transfer-on-death deed, but a conveyance of the property by the transferor during his lifetime will make the transfer-on-death deed void. If the beneficiary of the transfer-on-death deed dies before the transferor, the transfer-on-death deed lapses. For purposes of priority over other interests, the recording of the transfer-on-death deed is deemed to take place at the time of the transferor’s death, and the interest of the beneficiary of the transfer-on-death deed therefore will be subject to any deeds of trust, leases or other interests to which the transferor’s interest at the time of his death. This act becomes effective on July 1, 2020.

SB 2874 makes a number of what appear to be technical changes to the Mississippi Guardianship and Conservatorship Act, Miss. Code Ann. 93-20-102 to -431. This act became effective from the date of its passage (note: the Governor signed this act on June 23, 2020.)

To learn more about the co-authors, Rod Clement and Lindy Brown, visit Rod’s member profile or firm profile or Lindy’s firm profile.