Legislative amendments to EPTL 2-1.6, the statute pertaining to disposition of assets under circumstances of apparent simultaneous deaths, are forthcoming. The new legislation has been approved by the New York State Senate and Assembly, and awaits Governor Paterson’s signature.
The current version of EPTL 2-1.6 addresses the disposition of property where there is no evidence that individuals died other than simultaneously. Under these circumstances, absent a clause in the decedents’ wills stating otherwise, the statute presumes that each individual predeceased the other. Thus, property is generally distributed as if each individual survived the other, with some exceptions.
The new EPTL 2-1.6 will repeal the former statute, and essentially provides that absent clear and convincing evidence that one individual survived the other by one hundred and twenty hours, that individual is treated as if he or she predeceased. In effect, this statute enacts the 1993 version of the Uniform Simultaneous Death Act.