Tuesday, April 20, 2004

The Law of Comorientes

my dear father, 88, now so frail he can barely shuffle from room to room, half-blind, parkinson-palsied, pregnant with the inoperable time-bomb of an abdominal aortic aneurysm, yet still capable of remembering the most astonishingly obscure details from his long-since-retired professional specialism in probate law.
apparently, there is a near-obsolete law that applies only in the case of the simultaneous decease of husband and wife (in a fatal crash, for example), when their individual wills have been made on the presumption that one would survive the other - called the Law of Comorientes, it says that the order of decease is presumed by age, and that proper execution of the estate should be made on that assumption.
somehow, I doubt that any of those sharp lawyer-lurkers out there skimming for silly fees on the back of a default document pretending to be a Last Will and Testament has even the remotest idea that such a law ever even existed.

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