CHAPTER 191 - SETTLEMENT OF PERSONAL ESTATES

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 98, REVISED CODE OF DELAWARE OF 1935, RELATING TO SETTLEMENT OF PERSONAL ESTATES, REGISTER OF WILLS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:

Section 1. That Section 32 of Article 3 of said Chapter 98 of the Revised Code of Delaware of 1935, being Code Section 3830 of said Code be and the same is hereby amended by striking out all of paragraph one of Section 32 and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

3830. Section 32. Inventory and Appraisement; Oath or Affirmation of Appraisers; Majority May Act; Death of Appraiser After Appraisement and Before Oath or Affirmation; Procedure Upon; Affidavit of Executor, &c. Upon Inventory; Form Of; Affidavit Upon List of Debts; Form Of; Executor's Debt Not Extinguished:--Such goods and chattels shall be distinctly entered on the forms furnished by the State Tax Department and each article, or set, appraised, and its value stated; and the appraisers shall subscribe their names under oath or affirmation, according to this form: "We the subscribers do on oath (or affirmation) say that the goods and chattels in this inventory, have been appraised by us at the sums stated, which are, according to our best judgment, their true value."

Section 2. That Section 32 of Article 3 of said Chapter 98 of the Revised Code of Delaware of 1935, being Code Section 3830 of said Code be and the same is hereby amended by striking out all of paragraph three of Section 32 and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

If after an inventory and appraisement be made, but before taking the said oath or affirmation, an appraiser die, remove from the State, or from other cause cannot subscribe said oath or affirmation, the survivor, or survivors, shall subscribe it; and he, or they, or some credible person, shall make affidavit of the facts of the case, to be indorsed thereon by the Register. The inventory and appraisement, so made shall be valid.

Section 3. That Section 33 of Article 3 of said Chapter 98 of the Revised Code of Delaware of 1935, being Code Section 3831 of said Code be and the same is hereby amended by striking out all of paragraph one of Section 33 and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

Section 33. Every executor or administrator shall within three months after the granting of letters testamentary or administration, file in the office of the Register of Wills of the County in which said letters have been granted, an inventory of goods and chattels, and a list of all debts and credits on forms furnished by the State Tax Department. Any executor, or administrator, who fails to perform this duty, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall, upon conviction, be fined not to exceed Five Hundred Dollars 0500.00). An affidavit, signed by the executor, or administrator, and declaring upon oath, or affirmation, that he has diligently inquired, and can obtain no knowledge of any goods or chattels of the deceased, shall be a sufficient excuse for not delivering an inventory; and a like affidavit, that he has diligently inquired and can obtain no knowledge of any debts, or credits, due or belonging to the deceased, shall be a sufficient excuse for not delivering a list. Such affidavit shall be certified by the Register, and filed with the bond.

Section 4. That Section 39 of Article 3 of said Chapter 98 of the Revised Code of Delaware of 1935, being Code Section 3837 of said Code be and the same is hereby amended by striking out all of Section 39 and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

3837. Section 39. Order of Paying Debts:--Executors and administrators shall pay demands against the deceased in the following order:

First: Funeral expenses;

Second: The reasonable bills for medicine and medical attendance during the last sickness and for nursing and necessaries for the last sickness of the deceased;

Third: Wages of servants and laborers employed in household affairs, or in the cultivation of a farm, but no servant, or laborer, to be allowed this preference for more than one year's wages;

Fourth: Taxes imposed by the State of Delaware;

Fifth: Rent for not exceeding one year; and this, at the election of the party entitled, may be of rent in arrear, or rent growing due;

Sixth: Judgments against the deceased, which shall include judgments before justices of the peace, and decrees of a court of equity against him for the payment of money;

Seventh: Recognizances, mortgages, and other obligations of record, for the payment of money;

Eighth: Obligations and contracts under seal;

Ninth: Contracts under hand for the payment of money, or delivery of goods, wares, or merchandise;

Tenth: Other demands.

Whenever an executor or administrator is unable to determine between two or more creditors, the order of preference to be given to their respective demands, he or she may upon petition to the Orphans' Court have the parties in interest summoned to appear in said Court, and upon hearing duly had the Orphans' Court shall determine the order of preference to be given to the respective demands of the creditors who may have been made parties to said proceeding; and upon compliance with such determination the petitioner and his or her sureties shall be discharged from all further liability in respect to the preferences made by said Court.

Section 5. All Acts or parts of Acts inconsistent with the provisions of this Ad are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency only.

Approved May 19, 1937.