Decedents' Estates and Fiduciary Relations

Fiduciary Relations


Whenever a person, hereinafter referred to as an absentee, serving in or with the armed forces of the United States or a person serving as a merchant sailor has been reported or listed as missing or missing in action or interned in a neutral country or beleaguered, besieged or captured by an enemy has an interest in any form of property in this State or is a legal resident of this State and has not provided an adequate power of attorney authorizing another to act in the person's behalf in regard to such property or interest, then, the Register of Wills of the county of such absentee's legal domicile or of the county where such property is situated, upon petition alleging the foregoing facts and showing the necessity for providing care of the property of such absentee, made by any person who would have an interest in the property of the absentee were such absentee deceased, or on the Register's own motion, after notice to or on receipt of proper waivers from the heirs and next of kin of the absentee as provided by law for the administration of an estate and upon good cause being shown, may, after finding the facts to be as aforesaid, appoint a conservator to take charge of the absentee's estate, under the supervision and subject to the further orders of the Register.

45 Del. Laws, c. 231, § 1; 12 Del. C. 1953, § 4101; 70 Del Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

The Register of Wills may appoint any suitable person as conservator and may require such conservator to post an adequate surety bond and to make such reports as the Register deems necessary. The conservator shall have the same powers and authority as the guardian of the property of an infant or incompetent and shall be considered as an officer or arm of the court.

45 Del. Laws, c. 231, § 2; 12 Del. C. 1953, § 4102.;

At any time upon petition signed by the absentee or on petition of an attorney-in-fact acting under an adequate power of attorney granted by the absentee the Register shall direct the termination of the conservatorship and the transfer of all property held thereunder to the absentee or to the designated attorney-in-fact. Likewise, if at any time subsequent to the appointment of a conservator it appears that the absentee has died and an executor or administrator has been appointed for the absentee's estate, the Register shall direct the termination of the conservatorship and the transfer of all property of the deceased absentee held thereunder to such executor or administrator.

45 Del. Laws, c. 231, § 3; 12 Del. C. 1953, § 4103; 70 Del Laws, c. 186, § 1.;