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Beviss and Beckingsale
Emma Northover

Simultaneous Deaths. Who died first?

Posted by Emma Northover on January 20th 2020 in DISPUTES AND CLAIMS .

It is an unusual situation when the order of two deaths becomes so relevant but, in the case of Scarle deceased, the Court had to consider forensic evidence after a married couple where both found dead in their home.

The order of the couple’s deaths became important when it transpired that the way that their estates would be distributed meant that the daughter of the second to die would receive everything, to the exclusion of the daughter of the first to die.

Although the Court gave consideration to the different rates of decomposition, it decided that the presumption – found in Section 184 of the Law of Property Act 1925 - in favour of the older person having died first applied. 

Whilst the facts of that case are a little unusual, you can see how the presumption could also apply to the circumstances of a car accident.  It is therefore important for Wills to be drafted in a way that provides for the parties wishes in the event of simultaneous deaths and indeed for the parties to have Wills, as Mr. Scarle died intestate.

If you or any one you know would like advice in connection with a Claim regarding the estate of a loved one then please do not hesitate to contact our Emma Northover at eln@bevissandbeckingsale.co.uk or by calling 01404 548050.