Common Disaster

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A set of circumstances in which two individuals die apparently simultaneously.

In a common disaster there is no certainty of who died first, an important issue that frequently arises in the determination of the inheritance of property or the distribution of proceeds of a life insurance policy.

The common disaster clause found in insurance policies and wills is a provision that names an alternate beneficiary in the event that the testator and legatee or the insured and the beneficiary die simultaneously. simultaneous death acts are state laws that provide for the disposal of property in the event of a common disaster.

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