WVC 42 -
CHAPTER 42. DESCENT AND DISTRIBUTION.
WVC 42 - 5 -
ARTICLE 5. UNIFORM SIMULTANEOUS DEATH ACT.
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§42-5-1. No sufficient evidence of survivorship.
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, except as provided otherwise in this
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§42-5-2. Beneficiaries of another person's disposition of
Where two or more beneficiaries are designated to take
successively by reason of survivorship under another person's
disposition of property and there is no sufficient evidence that
these beneficiaries have died otherwise than simultaneously the
property thus disposed of shall be divided into as many equal
portions as there are successive beneficiaries and these portions
shall be distributed respectively to those who would have taken
in the event that each designated beneficiary had survived.
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§42-5-3. Joint tenants or tenants by the entirety.
Where there is no sufficient evidence that two joint tenants
or tenants by the entirety have died otherwise than
simultaneously the property so held shall be distributed one half
as if one had survived and one half as if the other had survived.
If there are more than two joint tenants and all of them have so
died the property thus distributed shall be in the proportion
that one bears to the whole number of joint tenants.
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§42-5-4. Insurance policies.
Where the insured and the beneficiary in a policy of life or
accident insurance have died and there is no sufficient evidence
that they have died otherwise than simultaneously the proceeds of
the policy shall be distributed as if the insured had survived
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§42-5-5. Article not retroactive.
This article shall not apply to the distribution of the
property of a person who has died before it takes effect.
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§42-5-6. Article does not apply if decedent provides otherwise.
This article shall not apply in the case of wills, living
trusts, deeds, or contracts of insurance wherein provision has
been made for distribution of property different from the
provisions of this article.
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§42-5-7. Uniformity of interpretation.
This article shall be so construed and interpreted as to
effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law in those
states which enact it.
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§42-5-8. Short title.
This article may be cited as the Uniform Simultaneous Death
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§42-5-9. Repeal of inconsistent laws.
All laws or parts of laws inconsistent with the provisions
of this article are hereby repealed.
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If any of the provisions of this article or the application
thereof to any persons or circumstances is held invalid such
invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of
the article which can be given effect without the invalid
provisions or application, and to this end the provisions of this
article are declared to be severable.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session