2018 Revised Code of Washington
Title 11 - PROBATE AND TRUST LAW
11.05A Uniform simultaneous death act.
11.05A.050 Evidence of death or status.

RCW 11.05A.050 Evidence of death or status.

In addition to the rules of evidence in courts of general jurisdiction, the following rules relating to a determination of death and status apply:

(1) Death occurs when an individual is determined to be dead by the attending physician, county coroner, or county medical officer.

(2) A certified or authenticated copy of a death certificate purporting to be issued by an official or agency of the place where the death purportedly occurred is prima facie evidence of the fact, place, date, and time of death and the identity of the decedent.

(3) A certified or authenticated copy of any record or report of a governmental agency, domestic or foreign, that an individual is missing, detained, dead, or alive is prima facie evidence of the status and of the dates, circumstances, and places disclosed by the record or report.

(4) In the absence of prima facie evidence of death under subsection (2) or (3) of this section, the fact of death may be established by clear and convincing evidence, including circumstantial evidence.

(5) An individual whose death is not established under this section who is absent for a continuous period of seven years, during which he or she has not been heard from, and whose absence is not satisfactorily explained after diligent search or inquiry, is presumed to be dead. His or her death is presumed to have occurred at the end of the period unless there is sufficient evidence for determining that death occurred earlier.

(6) In the absence of evidence disputing the time of death stipulated on a document described in subsection (2) or (3) of this section, a document described in subsection (2) or (3) of this section that stipulates a time of death one hundred twenty hours or more after the time of death of another individual, however the time of death of the other individual is determined, establishes by clear and convincing evidence that the individual survived the other individual by one hundred twenty hours.

[ 2007 c 475 ยง 11.]

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