H. B. 2716
(By Delegate Ashley)
[Introduced January 10, 1996; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section twenty, article one, chapter
thirty-six of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended; and to amend and reenact
section two, article four, chapter forty-two of said code,
all relating to obtaining property by right of survivorship;
prohibiting a person who, in a criminal action, is convicted
of, or who is determined guilty in a civil action of,
feloniously killing another to obtain property from the
person so killed by joint survivorship provisions; providing
for disposition of such property.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section twenty, article one, chapter thirty-six of the
code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted; and section two, article four,
chapter forty-two of said code be amended and reenacted, all to
read as follows:
CHAPTER 36. ESTATES IN PROPERTY.
ARTICLE 1. CREATION OF ESTATES GENERALLY.
§36-1-20. When survivorship preserved; exceptions.
(a) The preceding section shall not apply to any estate
which joint tenants have as executors or trustees, nor to an
estate conveyed or devised to persons in their own right, when it
manifestly appears from the tenor of the instrument that it was
intended that the part of the one dying should then belong to the
others. Neither shall it affect the mode of proceeding on any
joint judgment or decree in favor of, or on any contract with,
two or more, one of whom dies.
(b) When the instrument of conveyance or ownership in any
estate, whether real estate or tangible or intangible personal
property, links multiple owners together with the disjunctive
"or," such ownership shall be held as joint tenants with the
right of survivorship, unless expressly stated otherwise.
(c) No person who in a criminal action has been convicted
of, or who in a civil action is determined guilty of, feloniously
killing another, or of conspiracy of the killing of another,
shall take or acquire property by survivorship pursuant to this
section, and the property to which the person so convicted or
found guilty in a civil action would otherwise have been entitled
shall go to the person or persons who would have taken the same
if the person so convicted or found guilty had been deceased at
the date of death of the person so killed or conspired against.
CHAPTER 42. DESCENT AND DISTRIBUTION.
ARTICLE 4. GENERAL PROVISIONS.
§42-4-2. Homicide bars acquisition of estate or insurance money.
No person who has been convicted of feloniously killing
another, or of conspiracy in the killing of another, shall take
or acquire any money or property, real or personal, or interest
therein, from the one killed or conspired against, either by
descent and distribution, or by will, or by any policy or
certificate of insurance, or by survivorship pursuant to section
twenty, article one, chapter thirty-six of this code, or
otherwise; but the money or the property to which the person so
convicted would otherwise have been entitled shall go to the
person or persons who would have taken the same if the person so
convicted had been dead at the date of the death of the one
killed or conspired against, unless by some rule of law or equity
the money or the property would pass to some other person or
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to prohibit persons who
feloniously kill another person from obtaining property from the
person so killed by joint survivorship provisions.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.