Uniform Simultaneous Death Act Law and Legal Definition

In states that have adopted the Uniform Simultaneous Death Act, where the title to property or the devolution thereof depends upon priority of death and there is no sufficient evidence that the persons have died otherwise than simultaneously, the property of each person shall be disposed of as if he had survived.

The law is used only when the spouses' wills say nothing about who survived whom - or if there are no wills at all. Each spouse would be treated by the Simultaneous Death Act as though he/she were the survivor. With the other spouse presumed to be gone already, nothing would go from one dead parent to another. If there is no will, property is distributed according to the state law of intestacy. The Uniform Act does not specify who gets what, it deals with the order of death only. Once that is determined, state law or the will takes over to control the actual distribution of property.

The Uniform Simultaneous Death Act provides that if an insured person under a life policy and a beneficiary die at once, the insured will be presumed to have survived, unless otherwise provided. In that case, the policy proceeds would go to the alternate beneficiary.