skip to content

Refine results

Search by

Search by Algolia
Law Handbook banner image

Both spouses dying together

It sometimes happens that both spouses die at the same time or within a short time of each other. When spouses die at the same time, under South Australian law there is no presumption (that is, it is not taken as a fact) that the older died first. Where there is no proof of who died first, it may be necessary (for example, where the deceased were joint tenants) to apply to the court for guidance as to the distribution of the estate.

Where a person dies intestate the spouse must survive the deceased by 28 days before he or she can take a share in the estate [Administration and Probate Act 1919 (SA) s 72E]

A testator can cover the possibility of both spouses dying together or within a short time of one another, by providing for this in their will. They can say that how they distribute their estate provided their spouse survives them by the required time, and how they distribute their estate differently in the event that their spouse fails to survive them by the required time.

Both spouses dying together  :  Last Revised: Mon Jan 6th 2020
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.