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How Are The Assets Being Distributed When There Is a Simultaneous Death of The Family Members?

There are circumstances that family members lose their life concurrently or pursuant to circumstances where it is impossible to ascertain who predeceased whom. This situation is known as simultaneous death.

For example, a married couple could be traveling together and die in a plane crash. If there is evidence to prove who had died first, the assets of the person who died first will be distributed before the assets of the person who died later.

If circumstances are such that it cannot be determined which person died first and neither has made a will, how are the assets be distributed?

Under S2 of the Presumption of Survivorship Act 1950, it states that the younger shall be deemed to have survived the elder. As such, whoever is older will be deemed to have died first and his/her assets will then be distributed to the younger family member. Then only the assets of the younger family member will be distributed.

However, if you have drafted a will containing a survivorship clause in which a survivorship period requires that a beneficiary must survive you by a specified period to inherit, then such simultaneous death circumstances might not matter so much. Your assets will be distributed to your alternate beneficiaries as planned by you after your death. Hence, a well-drafted will can prevent such unforeseen circumstances in the event of simultaneous deaths.



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