CHAPTER 142

SETTLEMENT OF PERSONAL ESTATES

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 98 OF THE REVISED CODE OF DELAWARE, 1935, RELATING TO THE SETTLEMENT OF PERSONAL ESTATES, PROVIDING FOR NOTICE OF ADMINISTRATION, PUBLICATION OF, EFFECT THEREOF WITH RESPECT TO CLAIMS' AGAINST THE ESTATE OF A DECEDENT, AND BARRING CERTAIN CLAIMS NOT PRESENTED WITHIN ONE YEAR.

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

Section 1. That Chapter 98 of the Revised Code of The State of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out 3861. Sec. 63, and inserting in lieu thereof the following section, to be known as 3861. Sec. 63:

3861. Sec. 63. Notice of Administration; Publication of; Effect With Respect to Claims Against the Estate of a Decedent:--The Register shall give notice as hereinafter provided of the granting of letters and the date thereof, and requiring all persons having claims against the decedent to exhibit the same to the Executor or Administrator or abide by the law in this behalf. Such notice shall be given in all cases by advertisements to be posted within forty days from the grant to letters in the County Court House and in at least two other public places in the county wherein the decedent resided at the time of his death, or, in the case of non-resident decedents, in the county wherein letters testamentary or of administration shall have been granted; and such notice shall also be published in one or more newspapers published in such county at least three times within the same period not less frequently than once a week for three successive weeks; except that if the Register at the time of the granting of letters shall determine from evidence satisfactory to him that the gross personal estate of the decedent does not exceed the sum or value of Two Thousand Dollars, and also that the gross real and personal estate of the decedent does not in the aggregate exceed the sum or value of Five Thousand Dollars, the Register may, in his discretion, give such notice solely by the posting of advertisements as aforesaid, and not by publication in a newspaper or newspapers as aforesaid. The Register is authorized to require that the actual costs and expenses of such posting and publication be advanced to him prior to the grant of letters. The Register shall note or record in his docket the giving of notice and the form of notice given.

If the Register shall observe the requirements of the first paragraph of this section, all claims against the estate of the decedent, whether due, not due or contingent, and including any claim on a bond secured by a mortgage on real estate, not presented to such executor or administrator in writing with an affidavit provided for in Section 43 of this Chapter, and of which he shall not have notice as provided in Section 41 of this Chapter, within one year after the date of the granting of letters to such executor or administrator shall be forever barred; and any claim not so barred which shall have been rejected by an executor or administrator shall be forever barred unless an action or suit be commenced thereon within three months after the executor or administrator shall have notified the claimant of such rejection by a writing delivered to him in person or mailed to his last address known to the executor or administrator. The foregoing shall not apply to claims for legacies or distributive shares of an estate of a decedent. Provided, however, that the failure to present a claim on a bond secured by a mortgage on real estate, in accordance with the foregoing provisions, shall not invalidate said bond so as to prevent the foreclosure of the mortgage on real estate at any time thereafter, but no claim may be asserted against the decedent's estate on or by reason of said bond.

Section 2. That Chapter 98, Article 3, of the Revised Code of Delaware of 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out 3839. Sec. 41, and inserting in lieu thereof a new section to be known as 3839. Sec. 41, as follows:

3839. Sec. 41. Of What Debts Notice Presumed:--An executor or administrator shall be deemed to have notice of judgments, decrees, recognizances and mortgages (but not of the bonds accompanying such mortgages) of record in any county of this State, unless there has been a failure to insert them in the index of the docket wherein they stand; except judgments and recognizances before a Justice of the Peace, of which he shall not be charged with notice, unless actual notice be given.

Section 3. That on and after the passage of this Act, no claim for a deficiency or otherwise, based on a bond which has been secured by a mortgage on real estate, shall be entertained against a decedent's estate, unless such claim shall have been presented to the executor or administrator within one year after the date of the granting of letters to such executor or administrator.

Section 4. No claim against the estate of any decedent in which letters have been granted prior to the passage of this Act shall be in any wise affected by this Act; and the provisions of said Sections 41 and 63 of this Chapter as heretofore existing shall be continued in full force and effect as to all such claims and as to all estates in which letters have been granted prior to the passage of this Act.

Approved April 28, 1939.