Presumption of death

Under the Property Law Act 1958 (as amended) where two or more persons have died in circumstances rendering it uncertain which of them survived the other or others, such death/s shall subject to any order of the court, for all purposes affecting the title to property, be presumed to have occurred in order of seniority. Accordingly, the younger shall be deemed to have survived the elder.

As well, the common law (body of law created by decided court cases) has determined that if a person has not been seen for over seven years, then a presumption of death arises.

Arising from a presumption of death, if a legal personal representative (LPR) of a deceased applies for a grant of probate or letters of administration, the LPR must later seek the permission of the court, prior to distributing the deceased’s estate.

“Pearce Webster Dugdales are experienced in this area and are qualified to provide advice to you.”