CHAPTER 448

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 574

AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND PART III, TITLE 12 OF THE DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO DISCLAIMER OF INTERESTS IN PROPERTY.

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

Section 1. Amend Part III, Title 12 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new Chapter 6 to read as follows:

"CHAPTER 6. DISCLAIMER

§601. Right to Disclaim Interest in Property

A person, or the representative of a deceased, incapacitated, or protected person, who is a grantee, donee, heir, next of kin, devisee, legatee, person succeeding to a disclaimed or relinquished interest, surviving joint tenant, beneficiary under a testamentary or nontestamentary instrument or contract, donee of a power of appointment, or appointee under an exercised power of appointment, to whom property or an interest in or with respect to property devolves by whatever means may disclaim it, in whole or in part, by delivering a written disclaimer in the manner provided in this Chapter. The right to disclaim exists notwithstanding any limitation on the interest of the disclaimant M the nature of a spendthrift provision or similar restriction. A disclaimer may be of a fractional share, of any limited interest or estate, or of any lesser included interest or estate, including a lesser included interest or estate having a specific monetary value.

§602. Time of Disclaimer; Delivery

(a) Except as provided in subsection (c), (d), or (e), if the property or interest has devolved to the disclaimant under a testamentary instrument, by the laws of intestacy, or as a result of the death of a joint tenant, the disclaimer must be received, if of a present interest, not later than 9 months after the death of the deceased transferor, the deceased donee of a power of appointment, or the deceased joint tenant, as the case may be, and, if of a future interest, not later than 9 months after the event determining that the taker of the property or interest has become finally ascertained and his interest indefeasibly vested. The disclaimer, to be effective, must be received within the above time limits by the legal representative of the transferor of the property or interest or the holder of the legal title to which the interest relates. A copy of the disclaimer may be delivered to the person or persons entitled to the property or interest in the event of disclaimer, but the failure to make such delivery shall not affect the validity of the disclaimer. A copy of the disclaimer may be filed with the Register of Wills for the county in which proceedings for the administration of the estate of a deceased transferor of the property or interest, a deceased donee of the power, or a deceased joint tenant have been commenced, but the failure to so file the disclaimer shall not affect its validity.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (c), (d), or (e), if the property or interest has devolved to the disclaimant under a nontestamentary instrument or contract (other than as the result of the death of a joint tenant), the disclaimer must be received, if of a present interest, not later than 9 months after the effective date of the nontestamentary instrument or contract, and, if of a future interest, not later than 9 months after the event determining that the taker of the property or interest has become finally ascertained and his interest indefeasibly vested. If the person entitled to disclaim does not have actual knowledge of the existence of the interest, the disclaimer must be received not later than 9 months after the disclaimant acquires actual knowledge of the existence of the interest. The effective date of a revocable instrument or contract is the date on which the maker no longer has the power to revoke it or to transfer to himself or another the entire legal and equitable ownership of the interest. The disclaimer, to be effective, must be received within the above time limits by the transferor of the property or interest, his legal representative, or the holder of the legal title to which the interest relates. A copy of the disclaimer may be delivered to the person or persons entitled to the property or interest in the event of disclaimer, but the failure to make such delivery shall not affect the validity of the disclaimer.

(c) If the person desiring to disclaim is under age 21 at the commencement of the applicable 9-month limit under subsection (a) or (b), the disclaimer, to be effective, must be received not later than the date that is 9 months after the day on which the disclaimant attains age 21.

(d) If the person desiring to disclaim is, by reason of mental illness or mental infirmity, unable properly to manage and care for his property at the commencement of the applicable 9-month limit under subsection (a), (b), or (c), the disclaimer, to be effective, must be received not later than the date that is 9 months after the earlier of (1) the date of the Court's order appointing a trustee for such mentally ill person or appointing a guardian of the property of such mentally infirm person, or (2) the date of termination of such person's mental illness or mental infirmity.

(e) The Court of Chancery, upon petition of the person desiring to disclaim, or his representative, filed within the applicable time limit under subsection (a), (b), (c), or (d), may extend the time limit for making a disclaimer under this Chapter.

(f) A joint tenant who did not Join in the creation of the joint tenancy may disclaim during his life all or any part of his Interest In the property which is the subject of the joint tenancy by delivering a disclaimer to the other joint tenant or joint tenants. A surviving joint tenant may disclaim as a separate interest any property or interest therein devolving to him by right of survivorship. A surviving joint tenant may disclaim the entire interest in any property or interest therein that is the subject of a joint tenancy devolving to him, if the joint tenancy was created by the act of a deceased joint tenant and the survivor did not join in creating the joint tenancy. For purposes of this Chapter, the term 'joint tenant' includes a tenant by the entireties, and the term joint tenancy' includes a tenancy by the entireties.

(g) For purposes of this Chapter, the donee of a power of appointment with respect to property shall be treated as having an interest in such property and the donor of a power of appointment shall be considered a transferor of an interest in the property subject to the power. A disclaimer by the donee of a power of appointment may be with respect to the whole or any part of the property subject to such power, and the disclaimer may be in such manner as to reduce or limit the person or objects, or classes of persons or objects, In whose favor such power would otherwise be exercisable.

(h) if real property or an interest therein is disclaimed, a copy of the disclaimer may be recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds in and for the county in which the property or interest disclaimed is located.

§603. Form of Disclaimer

The disclaimer shall be in writing and shall:

(a) be an irrevocable and unqualified refusal by the disclaimant to accept property or an interest therein;

(b) describe the property or interest disclaimed;

(c) declare the disclaimer and extent thereof; and

(d) be signed by the disclaimant.

§604. Effect of Disclaimer

(a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c), if the property or interest devolved to a disclaimant under a testamentary instrument, under the laws of intestacy, or as a result of the death of a joint tenant, and if the deceased transferor or deceased joint tenant has not provided for another disposition, a present interest devolves as if the disclaimant had predeceased the decedent, and any future interest that takes effect in possession or enjoyment at or after the termination of the estate or interest disclaimed takes effect as if the disclaimant had died before the event determining that the taker of the property or interest had become finally ascertained and his interest indefeasibly vested. If a disclaimer relates only to a particular property or interest, the disclaimant shall not be considered to have predeceased with respect to any other property or interest not effectively disclaimed. A disclaimer relates back, for all purposes, to the date of death of the transferor or joint tenant, or to the date of the determinative event, as the case may be.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c), if the property or interest devolved to a disclaimant under a nontestamentary instrument or contract (other than as the result of the death of a joint tenant) and the instrument or contract does not provide for another disposition: (1) a present interest devolves as if the disclaimant had died before the effective date of the instrument or contract; and (2) a future interest that takes effect in possession or enjoyment at or after the termination of the disclaimed interest takes effect as if the disclaimant had died before the event determining that the taker of the property or interest had become finally ascertained and his interest indefeasibly vested. if a disclaimer relates only to a particular property or interest, the disclaimant shall not be considered to have predeceased with respect to any other property or interest not effectively disclaimed. A disclaimer relates back, for all purposes, to the effective date of the instrument or contract or to the date of the determinative event, as the case may be.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) and (b), if the disclaimant was designated to take under an exercised power of appointment, the property or interest disclaimed devolves as if the disclaimant had died before the effective date of the exercise.

(d) The disclaimer, or the written waiver of the right to disclaim, is binding upon the disclaimant or person waiving and all persons claiming through or under him.

§605. Waiver and Bar

The right to disclaim property or an interest therein is barred by: (a) an assignment, conveyance, encumbrance, pledge or transfer of the property or interest, or a contract therefor; (b) a written waiver of the right to disclaim; (c) an acceptance of the property or interest or any of its benefits; or (d) a sale of the property or interest under judicial sale made before the disclaimer is effected.

§606. Remedy not Exclusive

This Chapter does not abridge the right of a person to waive, release, disclaim, or renounce property or an interest therein under any other law.

§607. Application

(a) A present interest in property that exists on the effective date of this Chapter and as to which the time for making a disclaimer under this Chapter has not expired may be disclaimed within 9 months after the effective date of this Chapter.

(b) A future interest that exists on the effective date of this Chapter which has not become indefeasibly vested or with respect to which the taker has not been finally ascertained may be disclaimed within the applicable time limit provided in S602.

§608. Short Title

This Chapter may be cited as the Delaware Disclaimer of Property Interests Act."

Section 2. Amend Chapter 5, §512 of Title 12, Delaware Code by striking said Section in its entirety.

Section 3. The provisions of this Act shall not affect the validity of any actions taken or property rights created under §512 of Title 12 prior to the effective date of this Act.

Section 4. The provisions of this Act shall become effective 2 months after enactment and shall apply to disclaimers made on or after the effective date of this Act.

Approved July 23, 1982.