Goto next page
pg. 1

Delaware Laws | Title 12 Decedents' Estates and Fiduciary Relations

TITLE 12 Decedents' Estates and Fiduciary Relations (1)(Text)

Date of Publication: March 9, 2011 (2)

CHAPTER 1. DEFINITIONS (3)(Text)

Sec. 101. Definitions. (4)(Text)

For the purpose of wills, intestate succession and for all other purposes under this title, the following definitions shall apply: (5)

(1) "Child" includes any individual entitled to take as a child under this title by intestate succession from the parent whose relationship is involved and excludes any person who is only a stepchild, a foster child, a grandchild or any more remote descendant. (6)

(2) "Heir" means those persons, including the surviving spouse, who are entitled under the statutes of intestate succession to the property of a decedent and shall include kin and kindred. (7)

(3) "Issue" of a person means all of the person's lineal descendants of all generations, with the relationship of parent and child at each generation being determined by the definitions of child and parent contained in this title. (8)

(4) "Parent" includes any person entitled to take, or who would be entitled to take if the child died without a will, as a parent under this title by intestate succession from the child whose relationship is in question and excludes any person who is only a stepparent, foster parent or grandparent. (9)

(5) "Personal representative" includes executor, administrator, successor administrator and administrator with will annexed, and persons who perform substantially the same function under the law governing their status. (10)

(6) The definitions of "child," "issue" or "parent" contained in this section shall not limit the right of a testator to provide by will for a definition different from those contained in this section. (11)

(59 Del. Laws, c. 384, Sec. 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, Sec. 1.) (12)

TITLE 12 Decedents' Estates and Fiduciary Relations Wills (13)(Text)

CHAPTER 2. GENERAL PROVISIONS (14)(Text)

Decedents' Estates and Fiduciary Relations Wills (15)

Subchapter I. Tenets and Principles (16)(Text)

Sec. 201. Who may make a will. (17)(Text)

Any person of the age of 18 years, or upwards, of sound and disposing mind and memory, may make a will of real and personal estate. No person under the age of 18 years shall be capable of making a will either of real or personal estate. (18)

(Code 1852, Sec. 1644; 14 Del. Laws, c. 550, Sec. 5; 15 Del. Laws, c. 165, Sec. 5; Code 1915, Sec. 3240; Code 1935, Sec. 3704; 45 Del. Laws, c. 233, Sec. 1; 12 Del. C. 1953, Sec. 101; 59 Del. Laws, c. 384, Sec. 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, Sec. 1.) (19)

Sec. 202. Requisites and execution of will. (20)(Text)

(a) Every will, whether of personal or real estate, must be: (21)

(1) In writing and signed by the testator or by some person subscribing the testator's name in the testator's presence and by the testator's express direction; and (22)

(2) Subject to Sec. 1306 of this title, attested and subscribed in testator's presence by 2 or more credible witnesses. (23)

(b) Any will not complying with subsection (a) of this section shall be void. (24)

(Code 1852, Sec. 1645; Code 1915, Sec. 3241; Code 1935, Sec. 3705; 12 Del. C. 1953, Sec. 102; 59 Del. Laws, c. 384, Sec. 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, Sec. 1.) (25)

Sec. 203. Witnesses; persons competent. (26)(Text)

(a) Any person generally competent to be a witness may act as a witness to a will. (27)

(b) A will or any provision thereof is not invalid because the will is signed by an interested person. (28)

(Code 1852, Sec. 1646; Code 1915, Sec. 3242; Code 1935, Sec. 3706; 12 Del. C. 1953, Sec. 103; 59 Del. Laws, c. 384, Sec. 1.) (29)

Sec. 204. Devise of real estate generally. (30)(Text)

Lands, tenements and hereditaments are devisable by last will and testament. (31)

(Code 1852, Sec. 1643; Code 1915, Sec. 3239; Code 1935, Sec. 3703; 12 Del. C. 1953, Sec. 105; 59 Del. Laws, c. 384, Sec. 1.) (32)

Sec. 205. Devise of real estate without limitation. (33)(Text)

A devise of real estate, without words of limitation, shall be construed to pass the fee simple, or other whole estate, or interest, which the testator could lawfully devise in such real estate, unless a contrary intention appears by the will. (34)

(Code 1852, Sec. 1667; Code 1915, Sec. 3243; Code 1935, Sec. 3707; 12 Del. C. 1953, Sec. 106; 59 Del. Laws, c. 384, Sec. 1.) (35)

Sec. 206. After-acquired real estate. (36)(Text)

Any estate, right or interest in lands, acquired by a testator after the making of a will, shall pass thereby in manner as if possessed at the making of the will, unless a contrary intention appears by the will. (37)

(Code 1852, Sec. 1668; 18 Del. Laws, c. 671, Sec. 1; Code 1915, Sec. 3244; Code 1935, Sec. 3708; 12 Del. C. 1953, Sec. 107; 59 Del. Laws, c. 384, Sec. 1; 70 Del Laws, c. 186, Sec. 1.) (38)

Sec. 207. Power of sale of executor or trustee; liability of purchaser. (39)(Text)

(a) Where, by the terms of a will or trust instrument, an express power to sell real property is granted to a trustee, such trustee may sell or exchange such real property as is not specifically required to be distributed in kind to any beneficiary, and it shall not be necessary for any beneficiary of the trust to join in the instrument transferring or conveying such property. (40)

(b) Where, by the terms of a will, an executor is expressly directed to sell real property, such executor may sell or exchange such real property and it shall not be necessary for any beneficiary of the estate to join in the instrument transferring or conveying such property. (41)

(c) Where, by the terms of a will, an express power to sell real property is granted to an executor, such executor may sell or exchange such real property as is not specifically devised and as the executor reasonably believes, at the time of such sale or exchange, is necessary to be sold in order to pay the debts of the decedent or the expenses of administration (including estate and inheritance taxes and taxes imposed upon the income of the estate) of the estate, and it shall not be necessary for any beneficiary of the estate to join in the instrument transferring or conveying such property. In any sale of real estate authorized by this subsection (c) of this section, it shall not be necessary for the executor to obtain an Order from the Court of Chancery authorizing the sale pursuant to Chapter 27 of this title. (42)

1Goto next page

  

Our Mission
Objective

Our mission is to provide citizens free access to the laws and codes of their state utilizing a unique search engine that matches clients with qualified legal professionals who can help with specific issues.

Our goal is to do this in a manner that promotes open government and freedom of information, while providing attorneys with valuable tools to connect with qualified prospects in need of professional services.

Ignorance Is No Excuse
Your Right To Know The Law

All citizens have a right to have access to the laws that govern them. Citizen awareness and participation in government is fundamental to ensuring a sound democracy.

Although unfettered access to the law is a fundamental right to all citizens, there is no substitute for experienced legal counsel.

We do not recommend self-representation. We do, however, recognize that in an age where people routinely research legal matters online using everything from a smartphone to their xbox, both attorneys and clients alike can benefit from this resource.