An ACT in relation to conveyances and Devises of Personal and Real Estate for religious purposes.
SEC. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in the State of Delaware in General Assembly met, That no grant, conveyance, devise or lease of personal or, real, estate to, nor any trust of such personal or real estate for the benefit of any person, and his successor or successors in any ecclesiastical office, shall vest any estate or interest in said person or his successor; and no such rant, conveyance, demise, or lease to or for any such person by the designation any such office, shall vest any estate, or interest any successor of such person. But this section shall not be deemed to admit the validity of any such grant, conveyance, device or lease heretofore made.
SEC. 2. Be it enacted by the authority aforesaid that no grant conveyance, devise or lease of any real estate, dedicated or appropriated, or intended to be dedicated or appropriated to purposes of religious worship for the use of any congregation or society shall vest any right, title or interest in any person or persons to whom such grant, conveyance, devise or lease be made unless such grant, conveyance, devise or lease shall be made both in form and in fact, to a corporation organized according to the provisions of the laws of this State, as contained and provided in, and by the 8th chapter of the Revised Code, under the title of " Religious Societies."
SEC. 3. Be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That any real estate of the description named in second section of this act, and which has been heretofore granted, devised, or demised, to any to person or persons in any ecclesiastical office by the designation of such office or otherwise, shall be deemed to be held in trust for the benefit of the congregation or society using the same, and shall upon the death of the person whom the persons in who the title shall be vested at the time of the passage of this act, vest in the religious corporation formed by the congregation or religions society occupying and enjoying such real estate as aforesaid, provided, such corporation organized according, to the laws of this State, shall be in existence at the time of the decease or the person or persons holding the bide thereto.
SEC. 4. And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That in the event such corporation or society shall not be incorporated as aforesaid, then and in that ease, the title of such real estate shall escheat to the State of Delaware, in the same manner and with the same effect as if the person holding the title thereto had died intestate without heirs capable of inheriting such real estate.
SEC. 5. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That whenever title to any real estate shall escheat to the State of Delaware under and by virtue of the fast preceding section it of it shall be the duty of the Secretary of State of this State, and he is hereby authorized, upon his being satisfied of the due incorporation of the congregation or society who have occupied and enjoyed such real estate for the purpose of religious worship, and according to the provisions of the law first named in the second section of this act, and a further production to him of a certified copy of the recorded certificate of the incorporation, under the hand and seal of the Recorder of the county in whose office the same is recorded, to grant and convey such real estate, and all the right, title and interest of the State of Delaware therein and thereto to said corporation, which shall-thereupon be vested with all the right, title and interest which became vested in the State by virtue of the provisions of this act.
Passed at Dover, March 1, 1855