Decedents' Estates and Fiduciary Relations



Subchapter I. After-Born Children

A child born after its parent has made a last will and testament and for which such parent made no provision, vested or contingent, specifically or as member of a class, by will or otherwise, shall take the same portion of its parent's estate, both real and personal, that the child would have been entitled to if such parent had died intestate. This section shall not apply and no intestacy shall be created as to any child or children born after the date of the execution of a will in any case where the testator has provided in the last will and testament that the birth of any child or children subsequently shall not affect the will.

Code 1852, § 1654; Code 1915, § 3252; Code 1935, § 3716; 46 Del. Laws, c. 204, § 1; 12 Del. C. 1953, § 301; 70 Del Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Towards the raising of the portion of an after-born child, any intestate estate of the deceased, real or personal, shall be first applied and the residue of such portion, if there be a deficiency of such intestate estate to make up the same, or the whole of the portion if there be no such intestate estate, shall be contributed proportionable by the devisees and legatees, taking under the last will and testament, out of the estate or parts devised or bequeathed to them respectively.

Code 1852, § 1655; Code 1915, § 3253; Code 1935, § 3717; 12 Del. C. 1953, § 302.;

(a) The Court of Chancery, upon the petition of any after-born child (which petition in the case of infancy shall be preferred by a guardian) setting forth the facts of the case and specifying any real or personal estate of which the deceased parent died intestate, may, by an order, appoint 5 judicious and impartial freeholders, taken from the county of the parent's last residence or from any county where intestate real estate of the parent may be situated or from different counties, who shall go to all the lands, tenements and hereditaments, both testate and intestate, of which the deceased parent died seised and with the assistance of a skillful and impartial surveyor, by them to be nominated, if deemed necessary, shall appraise the same at the true value thereof in money and also shall ascertain and estimate the amount and value of the decedent's clear personal estate, whether bequeathed or intestate.

(b) If the intestate real estate of the deceased parent be sufficient for that purpose (subject to the rights of the surviving spouse, if there is a surviving spouse), then they shall appraise at the true value thereof in money and lay off and allot to the after-born child so much of the intestate real estate as will, in their judgment, be equal in value to what would have been such after-born child's share of both the real and personal estate (subject as aforesaid) of the deceased parent, if such parent had died intestate; and if all the intestate real estate shall not, in the judgment of the freeholders, be equal in value (subject as aforesaid) to what would have been the after-born child's share of the real and personal estate of the deceased parent if the parent had died intestate, then the freeholders shall appraise all the intestate real estate at the true value thereof in money and, at such appraisement, allot the same to the after-born child towards such child's share of the deceased parent's estate. The allotment of intestate real estate under the foregoing provisions to after-born children, where there are more than 1, shall not be made to them in severalty, but as parceners. If there shall be a surviving spouse entitled to dower or thirds in or to any portion of the deceased parent's estate, real or personal, testate or intestate, the value of the whole estate and of the share of the after-born child shall be ascertained as aforesaid with reference to the rights and interests of such surviving spouse, in such manner as to do justice to the parties concerned and unless dower shall have been previously assigned to or released by the surviving spouse the real estate allotted to such after-born child shall be so allotted subject to such surviving spouse's interest therein.

(c) The Court of Chancery, in making the order, may add such further instructions as it deems necessary to give full effect to the foregoing provisions.

Code 1852, §§ 1656-1658; Code 1915, §§ 3254, 3255; Code 1935, §§ 3718, 3719; 12 Del. C. 1953, § 303; 57 Del. Laws, c. 402, § 3; 70 Del Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

The freeholders and surveyor and all persons employed in the premises shall, before entering upon their respective duties under the order of the Court of Chancery, be severally sworn or affirmed faithfully and impartially according to the best of their skill and judgment to perform the duties assigned them by the order under which they act. A majority of the freeholders may act in the premises.

Code 1852, § 1659; Code 1915, § 3256; Code 1935, § 3720; 12 Del. C. 1953, § 304; 57 Del. Laws, c. 402, § 3.;

The Court of Chancery may fill any vacancy occurring among the freeholders.

Code 1852, § 1661; Code 1915, § 3258; Code 1935, § 3722; 12 Del. C. 1953, § 305; 57 Del. Laws, c. 402, § 3.;

The freeholders shall return their proceedings in the premises, under their hands, to the Court of Chancery at the next stated term thereof and the same, being confirmed by the Court, shall be conclusive.

Code 1852, § 1660; Code 1915, § 3257; Code 1935, § 3721; 12 Del. C. 1953, § 306; 57 Del. Laws, c. 402, § 3.;

If the intestate real estate, allotted under the foregoing provisions, shall not, at the appraisement thereof, be equal in value to what would have been the share of the after-born child or children of the entire estate of the deceased parent, had such parent died intestate, the deficiency shall be made up from the intestate personal estate, if any, of such parent. If there shall be no intestate personal estate or not sufficient to make up such deficiency the devisees and legatees, taking under the will of the deceased parent, shall proportionately contribute such sum or sums of money as, added to the intestate estate, will be sufficient to raise the portion of such after-born child or children.

Code 1852, § 1662; Code 1915, § 3259; Code 1935, § 3723; 12 Del. C. 1953, § 307.;

Any residue of intestate estate, real or personal, remaining after an allotment is made to an after-born child or children, under the foregoing provisions, shall belong to the person as by law would have been entitled to the same if no child had been born after the making of the parent's will.

Code 1852, § 1663; Code 1915, § 3260; Code 1935, § 3724; 12 Del. C. 1953, § 308.;

Lands and tenements allotted to after-born children under the foregoing provisions shall be subject to all the provisions of law respecting intestate estates, as fully in all respects, as if the deceased parent had died intestate leaving no other real estate and no other issue but the children to whom the same shall be allotted.

Code 1852, § 1664; Code 1915, § 3261; Code 1935, § 3725; 12 Del. C. 1953, § 309.;

Posthumous children or children in the mother's womb, if born alive, are within the foregoing provisions respecting after-born children. Such children shall take any estate or property, real or personal, by descent, transmission, gift, devise, limitation or otherwise in the same manner as if absolutely born at the decease of its parent. If such child is not born alive, the effect shall be the same, to all intents and purposes, as if no such child had ever existed.

Code 1852, § 1665; Code 1915, § 3262; Code 1935, § 3726; 12 Del. C. 1953, § 310; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;