Most spouses create Estate Plans that are intertwined. The plans work well on numerous levels allowing the spouses to benefit the surviving spouse and then distributing their joint assets to their children upon the death of the survivor. Even in a second marriage situation, it’s possible for the first spouse to die to create a trust benefitting the surviving spouse for life, but then going to children from a prior relationship upon the surviving spouse’s death. What happens when two spouses die at the same time or so close in time that it’s impossible to determine who died first? Most documents contain what’s called a “simultaneous death” clause that indicates that one spouse will be deemed to have survived the other to address just that issue. Thankfully, even if the documents lack that provision, or contain conflicting provisions, nearly every state has enacted the Uniform Simultaneous Death Act which also addresses the issue. Read on to learn more.
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