The Uniform Simultaneous Death Act

Q: What if both joint owners of a life insurance policy die within minutes or hours of each other without either having a Will or their Will says nothing about who survived whom?

A: If it cannot be determined who died first, then the estate will be subject to the Uniform Simultaneous Death Act – a law that that most states have adopted and dictates the order of death when parents die together.   This legislation divides jointly held property into halves. Each half is then distributed to that person’s heirs in accordance with the intestate succession law.  You can avoid this outcome by writing a Will.

Your insurance agent should be expected to broach this subject in your discovery meeting and be able to  advise you about the appropriate policy beneficiary forms and insurance company process.



These posts are created to inform and educate the public only.  They are not and should not be considered legal opinions or advice. You are advised to seek professional counsel before taking any action based upon information found on this site. 

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