presumption of death

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A common-law presumption that someone has died. The presumption will be made if a spouse has been missing for at least seven years (with nothing to indicate that he or she is still alive) or by proof of other reasonable grounds (e.g. that the spouse was on a ship that sank). The courts are empowered to grant a decree of presumption of death and dissolution of marriage, enabling the other spouse to remarry; the remarriage will be valid even if the first spouse later reappears.

Subjects: Law.

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