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  • Acts
  • 2002
  • Chapter 420 AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE DESCENT AND DISTRIBUTION OF PROPERTY.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:


SECTION 1. Section 4 of chapter 192 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2000 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "person", in line 3, the following words:- and if he is not under indictment for, or has not been convicted of, murder in the first or second degree, or manslaughter, or accessory before the fact of such crimes, against the deceased.

SECTION 2. Section 13 of said chapter 192, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "suitable", in line 2, the following words:- , if the person is not under indictment for, or has not been convicted of, murder in the first or second degree, or manslaughter, or accessory before the fact of such crimes, against the deceased.

SECTION 3. Section 1 of chapter 193 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "suitable", in line 3, the following words:- and only if such person is not under indictment for, or has not been convicted of, murder in the first or second degree, or manslaughter, or accessory before the fact of such crimes, against the deceased,.

SECTION 4. Section 7 of said chapter 193, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "trust", in line 2, the following words:- or if the executor is under indictment for, or has been convicted of, murder in the first or second degree, or manslaughter, or accessory before the fact of such crimes, against the deceased.

SECTION 5. Said section 7 of said chapter 193, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the word "person", in line 7, the following words:- , who is not under indictment for, or has not been convicted of, murder in the first or second degree, or manslaughter, or accessory before the fact of such crimes, against the deceased.

SECTION 6. Section 7A of said chapter 193, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "suitable", in line 4, the following words:- and if such person is not under indictment for, or has not been convicted of, murder in the first or second degree, or manslaughter, or accessory before the fact of such crimes, against the deceased.

SECTION 7. Section 9 of said chapter 193, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "persons", in line 9, the following words:- , who are not under indictment for, or have not been convicted of, murder in the first or second degree, or manslaughter, or accessory before the fact of such crimes, against the deceased,.

SECTION 8. Section 10 of said chapter 193, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "him", in line 6, the following words:- ; provided, however, that no person shall be appointed as a special administrator who is under indictment for, or has been convicted of, murder in the first or second degree, or manslaughter, or accessory before the fact of such crimes, against the deceased.

SECTION 9. Section 11 of chapter 195, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "person", in line 11, the following words:- who is not under indictment for, or has not been convicted of, murder in the first or second degree, or manslaughter, or accessory before the fact of such crimes against the deceased.

SECTION 10. Said section 11 of said chapter 195, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by adding the following paragraph:-

If an executor or administrator is indicted for, or convicted of, murder in the first or second degree, or manslaughter, or accessory before the fact of such crimes, against the deceased, the executor or administrator shall not be eligible to serve as executor or administrator of the deceased's estate, and the probate court shall remove him immediately as such from the point of indictment or conviction, whichever occurs first. The court shall appoint a suitable person to act as executor or administrator.

SECTION 11. Chapter 265 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:-

Section 46. The court shall prohibit any person charged with the unlawful killing of the decedent from taking from the decedent's estate through its distribution and disposition, including property held between the person charged and the decedent in joint tenancy or by tenancy in the entirety. The court shall consider any person convicted of the unlawful killing of the decedent as predeceasing the decedent for the purpose of distribution and disposition of the decedent's estate including property held between the person charged and the decedent in joint tenancy or by tenancy in the entirety. The bar to succession shall apply only to murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree or manslaughter; it shall not include vehicular homicide or negligent manslaughter in the death of the decedent. No court shall distribute the accused's share of the decedent's assets until a verdict or finding on the charge has been rendered in open court. If the court determines the accused not guilty of the unlawful killing of the decedent, the accused may take by decent or distribution from the decedent's estate under law. The provisions of this section and any order of a court entered pursuant thereto, shall not have any effect on title to real property, except against the person charged with an offense to which this section applies, or that person's heirs and devisees, until a memorandum that recites the name of that person is recorded in the manner provided in section 15 of chapter 184, and no order so entered shall divest any person who has given fair consideration for any interest in such property before such recording.

Approved December 24, 2002.