2020 Delaware Code
Title 12 - Decedents' Estates and Fiduciary Relations
Chapter 13. General Provisions
§ 1311 Pre-mortem will validation [For application of this section, see 80 Del. Laws, c. 153, § 5].

Universal Citation: 12 DE Code § 1311. (2020)
§ 1311. Pre-mortem will validation [For application of this section, see 80 Del. Laws, c. 153, § 5].

(a) No proceedings under § 1308 or § 1309 of this title may be commenced following the death of a testator, who resided in Delaware at the time of death, with respect to a will which has been validated pursuant to the pre-mortem will validation procedure of this § 1311 by any person who was duly notified pursuant to this section if the time period set forth in this section has expired as of the date of the death of the testator, and no such person may become a party to any such proceeding commenced by another person. If such time period has not expired as of the date of the death of the testator, the limitation of this § 1311 shall have no application to such testator's will. The preceding provisions of this subsection shall apply with respect to the exercise of a power of appointment in a will only if the testator has followed the provisions of subsection (c) of this section and shall apply with respect to the exercise of a power of appointment only to the extent of proceedings which challenge the exercise of the power of appointment on the basis that a proceeding could be brought challenging the will itself under § 1308 or § 1309 of this title.

(b) A testator may notify in writing any person named in a will as a beneficiary, any person who would be entitled to inherit under Chapter 5 of this title if the testator had died intestate on the date of such notification, and/or any other person the testator wishes to be bound as to the validity of the testator's will. The notice shall include a copy of the testator's will, and shall state that a person who wishes to contest the validity of the will must do so within 120 days of receipt of such notice, unless the testator dies before such 120-day period has elapsed. A person receiving such written notice who wishes to contest the will shall file a proceeding in the Court of Chancery no later than 120 days following receipt of such notice. Such proceeding shall follow procedures comparable to those under § 1308 of this title for the caveat of a will.

(c) If the testator's will includes a provision exercising a power of appointment, then in addition to complying with the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, the testator may notify in writing any person named in the exercise of the power of appointment as a beneficiary, any person who would be entitled to receive property over which the testator exercises the power of appointment if the testator failed to validly exercise the power of appointment, the trustees of a trust holding property subject to the power of appointment, and/or any other person the testator wishes to be bound as to the validity of the exercise of the power of appointment under the testator's will. The notice shall include a copy of the testator's will, a copy of the trust or other instrument which contains the power of appointment which the testator is exercising, and shall state that a person who wishes to contest the validity of the exercise of the power of appointment must do so within 120 days of receipt of such notice, unless the testator dies before such 120-day period has elapsed. A person receiving such written notice who wishes to contest the exercise of the power of appointment shall file a proceeding in the Court of Chancery no later than 120 days following receipt of such notice. Such proceeding shall follow procedures comparable to those under § 1308 of this title for the caveat of a will.

(d) The failure of a testator to use the provisions of this section shall not be construed as evidence that a will is not valid.

(e) Nothing in this section shall preclude a person who has provided notice under this section or with respect to whose will a proceeding has been commenced pursuant to subsection (b) of this section from executing a codicil to such person's will, or from executing a later will, but the notice under this section or proceedings under this section shall not be deemed to determine the validity of such later will or codicil.

(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed as abrogating the right or cutting short the period for a spouse to file an elective share petition under § 901 et seq. of this title or to claim the surviving spouse's allowance. Nothing in this section shall be construed as abrogating the right or cutting short any time period for any person to claim an intestate share of a decedent's estate to the extent that a will results in a complete or partial intestacy.

(g) For purposes of this section, notice shall have been given when received by the person to whom the notice was given and, absent evidence to the contrary, it shall be presumed that notice mailed or delivered to the last known address of such person constitutes receipt by such person.

(h) For purposes of this section, a person is deemed to have been given any notice that has been given to any other person who under § 3547 of this title may represent and bind such person.

80 Del. Laws, c. 153, § 2; 
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