CHAPTER 179

GUARDIAN AND WARD

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 39, TITLE 12, DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO GUARDIAN AND WARD.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. § 3914, Title 12, Delaware Code is amended to read as follows:

(e) Whenever any person not mentally ill, a resident in this State, by reason of advanced age or mental infirmity or physical incapacity is unable properly to manage and care for his property, and in consequence thereof is in danger of dissipating or losing such property, or of becoming the victim of designing persons, such person, his mother, father, brother, sister, husband, wife, child, next of kin, creditor, debtor, any public agency or, in the absence of such person, or persons, or public agency, or their refusal or inability to act, any other person, may file in the Court of Chancery of the county in which such aged, mentally infirm or physically incapacitated person resides, his petition, under oath, setting forth the facts, praying the Court to adjudge that such person is unable properly to manage and care for his property, and requesting the appointment of a guardian of the property of such person.

(f) Upon the filing of such petition, the Court shall enter an order fixing a time and place for a hearing thereon. The Court shall by rule provide for a reasonable notice requirement to the person for whose property a guardian is sought and to such others, if any, as the Court may deem desirable, provided that such notice shall be waived if the petitioner is the party for whom a guardian is sought.

(g) If the Court, after such hearing, is satisfied that the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) have been met, it shall appoint a guardian of such person's property.

(d) In all matters relating to the appointment, qualification, duties, powers, liability to account, and distribution of property at the recovery or death of the ward, such guardian shall be governed by all of the applicable provisions of law and rules of Court relating to the management of the estates of mentally ill persons.

(e) If it appears that the guardianship is no longer necessary, the guardian shall be removed by the Court of Chancery upon application of the aged, mentally infirm or physically incapacitated person, or upon the application of any other party deemed by the Court to have a sufficient interest in presenting such a petition.

(f) From the time of the Court's decree appointing a guardian, such person whose property is under guardianship shall be under disability to contract with regard to the property forming the subject matter of the guardianship during the pendency thereof.

(g) On the approval of this Act, Guardians appointed by the Orphans' Court under the provisions of 48 Del. Laws, Ch. 365, Sec. 1, or 12 Del. C. Sec. 3914 shall thereafter function under this Act. As of such approval date, each Clerk of the Orphans' Court shall turn over to the Register in Chancery of his County, and each such Register in Chancery shall receive, the books and records of the Guardianships then existing under the provisions of 48 Del. Laws, Ch. 365, or 12 Del. C. Sec. 3914.

(h) In all cases where a public agency is the petitioner and where, in the opinion of the Court of Chancery, the resources and estate of the person for whose property a guardian is sought are insufficient to warrant the payment of costs and fees, the Court of Chancery may by order provide that the guardian so appointed need not give bond either with or without surety as otherwise required by law, and may further provide that in such cases all costs and fees shall be waived.

() The Court of Chancery may adopt appropriate rules to effectuate the provisions of this section.

Section 2. § 3915, Title 12, Delaware Code is repealed.

Approved June 19, 1957.