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Delaware Laws | Title 12 Decedents' Estates and Fiduciary Relations
Subchapter III. Unclaimed Life Insurance Funds

(12 Del. C. 1953, Sec. 1194; 50 Del. Laws, c. 568, Sec. 1.) (1602)

Nothing in this subchapter shall prevent the State Escheator from making claim to any fund, to which the State would otherwise be entitled, because it has not been reported in accordance with this subchapter. (1603)

(59 Del. Laws, c. 278, Sec. 4.) (1604)

Decedents' Estates and Fiduciary Relations Descent and Distribution; Escheat (1605)

Subchapter IV. Other Unclaimed Property (1606)(Text)

Sec. 1197. Other property escheated. (1607)(Text)

Except as otherwise provided elsewhere in the Delaware Code all property, as hereinafter defined and not otherwise subject to escheat in accordance with this chapter, the title to which has failed and the power of alienation suspended by reason of: (1) The death of the owner thereof, intestate, leaving no known heirs-at-law; (2) the owner thereof having disappeared or being missing from the owner's last known place of residence for a continuous period of 5 years or more, leaving no known heirs-at-law; or (3) the same having been abandoned by the owner thereof, as hereinafter defined, shall descend to the State as an escheat in accordance with the Constitution, the general laws of this State or this subchapter. (1608)

(12 Del. C. 1953, Sec. 1197; 58 Del. Laws, c. 275, Sec. 1; 63 Del. Laws, c. 299, Sec. 1; 66 Del. Laws, c. 379, Sec. 5; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, Sec. 1.) (1609)

Sec. 1198. Definitions. (1610)(Text)

For purposes of this subchapter, the following definitions shall apply: (1611)

(1) "Abandoned property" means property against which a full period of dormancy has run. (1612)

(2) "Appropriation" means the act of the State, through its duly constituted officers or agencies, in taking or accepting possession or custody of abandoned, unprotected, unclaimed or lost property as conservator thereof for later disposition by descent to the State as an escheat or redemption by the owner as provided in this subchapter. (1613)

(3) "Distributions held by financial intermediaries for unknown owners" means property as generally defined in paragraph (11) of this section, which consists of dividends, interest, stock and other distributions made by issuers of securities which are held by financial intermediaries (including, by way of example and not limitation, banks, transfer agents, brokers and other depositories) for beneficial owners whose identities are unknown. (1614)

(4) "Escheat" means the descent or devolution of property to the State under and by virtue of the Constitution of the State, the general laws of this State or this subchapter. (1615)

(5) "Escheatable property" means property which is subject to escheat to the State under and by virtue of the Constitution of the State, the general laws of this State or this subchapter. (1616)

(6) "Escheated property" means property which has descended to the State as an escheat. (1617)

(7) "Holder" means any person having possession, custody or control of the property of another person and includes a post office, a depository, a bailee, a trustee, a receiver or other liquidating officer, a fiduciary, a governmental department, institution or agency, a municipal corporation and the fiscal officers thereof, a public utility, service corporation and every other legal entity incorporated or created under the laws of this State or doing business in this State. For purposes of this subchapter, the issuer of any intangible ownership interest in a corporation, whether or not represented by a stock certificate, which is registered on stock transfer or other like books of the issuer or its agent, shall be deemed a holder of such property. This definition shall be construed as distinguishing the term "holder" of property from the term "owner" of property as hereinbefore defined and as excluding from the term "holder" any person holding or possessing property by virtue of title or ownership. (1618)

(8) "Owner," in addition to its commonly accepted meaning, shall be construed to particularly mean and include any person, as hereinbefore defined, having the legal or equitable title to property coming within the purview of this subchapter. (1619)

(9)a. "Period of dormancy" means the full and continuous period of 5 years, except a period of 15 years for traveler's checks, during which an owner has ceased, failed or neglected to exercise dominion or control over property or to assert a right of ownership or possession or to make presentment and demand for payment and satisfaction or to do any other act in relation to or concerning such property. Notwithstanding the foregoing, "period of dormancy" means the full and continuous period of 3 years with respect to intangible ownership or indebtedness in a corporation or other entity whether or not represented by a stock certificate or other certificate of membership, bonds and other securities including fractional shares, interest, dividends, cash, coupon interest, liquidation value of stocks and bonds, funds to redeem stocks and bonds, and distributions held by financial intermediaries. (1620)

b. A full period of dormancy shall be deemed to have run with respect to any dividends or other distributions held for or owing to an owner at the time a period of dormancy shall have run with respect to the intangible ownership interest in a corporation partnership, statutory or common law trust, limited liability company, or other entity to which such dividend or other distribution attaches. For good cause shown, and upon notice to the State Escheator, the Court of Chancery may, with respect to property over which the Court has otherwise assumed jurisdiction, extend the period of dormancy to a specific date by which an owner may exercise a right, make a demand or file a claim, provided each extension is set forth in a separate order of the court referring specifically to this section, and each extension is no longer than 3 years, provided further there shall be no more than 2 extensions under this subsection. Except as provided in Sec. 1210 of this title, the period of dormancy shall not commence to run with respect to which claims, demands or other property held by a holder pursuant to a written agreement which contemplates that there shall be a specific period of inactivity, until the expiration of the contemplated period of inactivity. This definition shall be construed as excluding any act or doing of a holder of abandoned property not done at the express request or authorization of the owner. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the "period of dormancy" with regard to gift certificates shall be the shorter of: (1621)

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