CHAPTER 181

COURT OF CHANCERY IN CASE OF MENTALLY ILL PERSONS

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 37, TITLE 12, DELAWARE CODE BY EMPOWERING THE COURT OF CHANCERY TO AUTHORIZE CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES BY TRUSTEES FOR MENTALLY ILL PERSONS.

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

Section 1. Chapter 37, Title 12, Delaware Code is amended by adding a new section thereto to read as follows:

§ 3710. Court of Chancery empowered to authorize charitable contributions under certain circumstances

(a) The Court of Chancery is empowered to authorize trustees for mentally ill persons to make specific contributions from income from the estate of such person to a corporation, trust, or community chest, fund or foundation organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary or educational purposes or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which insures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, and no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation; provided, however, that such specific contribution is deductible under the Internal Revenue Code of the United States. However, no contribution shall be authorized except after a hearing on reasonable notice to those who would be the next of kin upon the death of the mentally ill person and to other interested persons, if any, and unless the Court is reasonably satisfied as to the following:

(1) That the amount of such contribution will not, reasonably viewed, be needed for the present or future support of the mentally ill person, and for others who are or might become entitled to any of such income, and

(2) That the making of the contributions will not imperil the preservation of the corpus or principal of the estate of the mentally ill person, and

(3) That the making of the contribution will not be contrary to the religious beliefs of the mentally ill person, and

(4) That in the light of the background, station in life, and disposition of the mentally ill person such a contribution appears reasonable and appropriate and one that he might have been expected to make; provided, however, that the absence or unavailability of such evidence will not defeat the application if the Court is otherwise satisfied.

(b) No authorization hereunder for a contribution shall be effective beyond one year from the date of the order, and the aggregate of contributions authorized to be made within one year shall not exceed ten per cent of the gross income of the mentally ill person for the preceding calendar year.

(c) This Act shall not be construed to abridge the existing powers of the Court over the estates of mentally ill persons.

(d) The Court of Chancery may adopt rules to carry out the power granted by this statute.

Approved June 19, 1957.