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Little Details

A Fact-Checking Community for Writers

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Legal ramifications of being declared dead and subsequently being found alive - particularly regardi
wusswoo wrote in little_details
If someone was missing and declared dead in say California then their next of kin would inherit their fortune. However, what happens if this person is subsequently found alive. Would their fortune revert back to them or do they have no claim on it?

Any help would be gratefully received.

IANAL, but Ryan Davidson at Law and the Multiverse (a blog about law and comic book stories) is. Here's his article on resurrection and probate law. There's also a Straight Dope article that discusses this.

Thank you, that's really useful! I'm off to digest it now. Thanks again x

I'm not sure how useful it is as this was an English fraud case, but there was the case of John Darwin, who 'died' in a canoe accident, hid in a bedsit beside his wife Anne's house while she claimed insurance and pension payments so they could move to Panama. They now have to repay the money, have been convicted of fraud and the husband was jailed.


yeah thanks for that, I am English myself so remembered that case but the scenario doesn't fit what I want. My character wasn't faking his death but was just missing for a long time through no fault of his own.

Thanks for taking the time to reply though, I appreciate it.