CHAPTER 281

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 355

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 23, TITLE 12, OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO DECEDENTS ESTATES PROVIDING FOR ADMINISTRATION OF SMALL ESTATES AND CLAIMS FOR ALLOWANCES OF A SURVIVING SPOUSE.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend §2306, Title 12 of the Delaware Code by striking said section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof a new S2306 to read as follows:

"§2306. Distribution of decedent's property without grant of letters where estate assests do not exceed $12,500.

(a) The spouse of a decedent or any person who is a grandparent of a dededent, a lineal descendant of a grandparent of a decedent, or the trustee of a trust created by the decedent shall be entitled to the personal estate for the purpose of making distribution thereof without awaiting the appointment of a personal representative or probate of a will when:

(1) No petition for the appointment of a personal representative is pending or has been granted; and

(2) Thirty days have elapsed since the death of the decedent; and

(3) The value of the personal estate, not including exempt property and jointly-owned property, does not exceed $12,500; and

(4) All known debts are paid or provided for; and

(5) The surviving spouse's allowance, pursuant to Section 2308, has been paid, provided for, or waived; and

(6) Decedent did not own solely-owned real estate; and

(7) There is furnished to any person owing any money, having custordy of any property, or acting as registrar or transfer agent of any evidence of interest, indebtedness, property, or right, an affidavit showing the existence of the foregoing conditions and the right of the distributees to receive such money or property or to have such evidence transferred.

(b) Preference for taking the personal estate under this section shall be given to the spouse, children, parents, siblings, grandparents and grandchildren, in that order."

Section 2. Amend §2308, Title 12, of the Delaware Code by striking subsection (b) of said section and by substituting in lieu thereof a new subsection (b) to read as follows:

"(b) The allowance to the surviving spouse of a decedent provided for in subsection (a) of this section shall be of no effect unless and until such spouse shall, within 9 months from the date of death or 6 months from the date of the granting of letters, testamentary or of administration, whichever shall be the shorter period, notify in writing the Register of Wills of the County wherein the letters were granted and the executor or administrator of such spouse's demand that a specified sum, not exceeding $2,000, be so set aside out of the proceeds of the estate of the decedent."

Section 3. The provisions of this Act shall become effective on the day following the date of enactment.

Section 4. If any of the provisions of this Act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions of applications or this Act, and to this end, the provisions of this Act are severable.

Approved June 24, 1982.