CHAPTER 139

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 147

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 23, TITLE 12, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO THE EFFECT OF MANSLAUGHTER OR MURDER ON INTESTATE SUCCESSION, WILLS, JOINT ASSETS, LIFE INSURANCE AND BENEFICIARY DESIGNATIONS.

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

Section 1. Amend §2322(a)(1), Title 12, Delaware Code, by striking said subsection in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"(a)(1) Definitions. 'Slayer' shall mean any person who pleads guilty or nolo contendere to, or is convicted of, the offenses defined in §§632, 635, or 636 of Title 11, excluding however, those persons convicted of manslaughter under §632 of Title 11 as a result of the mitigating circumstances of extreme emotional distress as defined in §641 of Tide II. 'Slayer' shall also mean any person who pleads guilty or nolo contendere to, or is convicted under the federal law, or the laws of another state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or a U.S. possession, of an offense which would be described above if it were committed within the State of Delaware."

Section 2. Amend §2322(c), Title 12 of the Delaware Code by deleting said subsection in its entirety and replacing said subsection with the following:

"(c) Wills and Trusts. The slayer shall be deemed to have predeceased the decedent as to property which would have passed to the slayer by devise or legacy from the decedent, and as to property which would have passed to the slayer from a trust to the extent that the decedent was the grantor of the trust or was the beneficiary of the trust immediately before the death of the decedent."

Section 3. Amend §2322(d), Title 12 of the Delaware Code by deleting said subsection in its entirety and replacing said subsection with the following:

"(d) Tenancy by Entirety. Any property held by the slayer and the decedent as tenants by the entirety shall, upon the death of the decedent, be converted to property held as tenants in common, and 1/2 of the property shall pass to the decedent's heirs, legatees or devisees, and the other half shall pass to the slayer, unless the slayer or the decedent's estate effects a partition of the property."

Section 4. Amend §2322(e)(1) and (e)(2), Title 12 of the Delaware Code by deleting said subsections in their entirety and replacing said subsections with the following:-

"(e)(I) Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship. Any property held solely by the slayer and the decedent as joint tenants , joint owners or joint obligees shall, upon the death of the decedent, be converted to property held as _tenants in common and 1/2 of the property shall pass to the decedent's heirs, legatees or devisees, and the other half shall pass to the slayer, unless the slayer or the decedent's estate effects a partition of the property.

(2) As to property held jointly by 3 or more persons as joint tenants with right of survivorship, including the slayer and the decedent, the decedent's interest shall be converted to that of a proportions/ tenant in common, and the decedent's interest shall pass to his or her heirs, legatees and devisees, unless the decedent's estate or a surviving joint tenant effects a partition of the property. The interest of the other tenants remains unaffected."

Section 5. Amend §2322(f), Title 12 of the Delaware Code by deleting said subsection in its entirety and replacing said subsection with the following:

"(f) Vested Remainder. Property in which the slayer holds a reversion or vested remainder and would have obtained the right of present possession upon the death of the decedent shall pass to the heirs, legatees or devisees of the decedent, and be redistributed in accordance with the decedent's will or the laws of intestate distribution, excluding the slayer, during the period of what would have been the life expectancy of the decedent if the decedent had not been slain. If the particular estate is held by a third person, it shall remain M his or her hands for such period."

Section 6. Amend §2322(g)(2), Title 12 of the Delaware Code by deleting said subsection in its entirety and replacing said subsection with the following:

"(g)(2) In any other case, the interest of the slayer shall be extinguished."

Section 7. Amend §2322(h)(I), Title 12 of the Delaware Code by deleting said subsection in its entirety and replacing said subsection with the following:

"(h) Proceeds passing by designation. (I) Except when there are conflicting provisions in a contract governing any policy or certificate of insurance on the life of the decedent, or of a joint life policy on the life of the decedent and the slayer, or governing the designee of any other property, the proceeds of such property shall be paid according to the terms of the contract as though the slayer had predeceased the decedent. If the contract does not provide for a beneficiary in the event that the slayer predeceased the decedent, the property shall be paid to the estate of the decedent."

Approved July 6, 1995