2021 Delaware Code
Title 12 - Decedents' Estates and Fiduciary Relations
Chapter 17. Absentees; Presumed Decedents
§ 1702. Petition for adjudication of presumed death; notice of hearing.
(a) Whenever any person is presumed to be dead on account of absence for 7 years or more, exposure to specific peril or pursuant to a finding under Federal Missing Persons Act (37 U.S.C. § 551 et seq.), whether such person was domiciled within this State or in some other state, territory or possession of the United States or in any foreign country, any person entitled under the last will and testament of such presumed decedent or under the intestate laws to any share of the estate within this State, or under any deed, will or other instrument in writing or in any other way, method or manner to any share or interest in any estate held by or for such presumed decedent for years or for the term of natural life, or the Escheator for the State or any creditor of the presumed decedent, may present a petition to the Court of Chancery, setting forth the facts which raise the presumption and praying for an adjudication thereon declaring such person to be presumed to be deceased.
(b) The Court of Chancery, if satisfied as to the interest of the petitioner, shall cause to be advertised in a newspaper of general circulation in the county of the principal residence of the presumed decedent (or if nonresident then in such county as the Court shall direct), once a week for 3 consecutive weeks, together with such other advertisement as the Court, according to the circumstances of the case, deems expedient or advisable, the fact of such application, together with notice that on a day certain, which shall be at least 2 weeks after the last appearance of the advertisement, the Court shall hear evidence concerning the alleged absence of the presumed decedent and the circumstances and duration thereof.16 Del. Laws, c. 132, §§ 1, 2; Code 1915, § 3361; Code 1935, § 3826; 42 Del. Laws, c. 140, § 1; 12 Del. C. 1953, § 1701; 59 Del. Laws, c. 384, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1;