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  • PART II REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY AND DOMESTIC RELATIONS
  • TITLE II DESCENT AND DISTRIBUTION, WILLS, ESTATES OF DECEASED PERSONS AND ABSENTEES, GUARDIANSHIP, CONSERVATORSHIP AND TRUSTS
  • CHAPTER 190B MASSACHUSETTS UNIFORM PROBATE CODE
  • ARTICLE II INTESTACY, WILLS AND DONATIVE TRANSFERS
  • Section 2-702 Requirement of survival

Section 2-702. [Requirement of Survival.]

[Subsections (a) and (b) applicable as provided by 2012, 140, Sec. 66.]

(a) For the purposes of this code, except as provided in subsection (d), an individual who is not established to have survived an event, including the death of another individual, is deemed to have predeceased the event.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (d), for purposes of a donative provision of a governing instrument, an individual who is not established to have survived an event, including the death of another individual, is deemed to have predeceased the event.

(c) Except as provided in subsection (d), if (i) it is not established that 1 of 2 co-owners with right of survivorship survived the other co-owner, 1/2 of the property passes as if 1 had survived, and 1/2 as if the other had survived and (ii) there are more than 2 co-owners and it is not established that at least 1 of them survived the others, the property passes in the proportion that one bears to the whole number of co-owners. For the purposes of this subsection, “co-owners with right of survivorship” includes joint tenants, tenants by the entireties, and other co-owners of property or accounts held under circumstances that entitles 1 or more to the whole of the property or account on the death of the other or others.

(d) This section shall not apply if:

(1) the governing instrument contains language dealing explicitly with simultaneous deaths or deaths in a common disaster and that language is operable under the facts of the case;

(2) the governing instrument expressly indicates that an individual is not required to survive an event, including the death of another individual, by any specified period or expressly requires the individual to survive the event by a specified period;

(3) the application of this section to multiple governing instruments would result in an unintended failure or duplication of a disposition.

(e)(1) A payor or other third party is not liable for having made a payment or transferred an item of property or any other benefit to a beneficiary designated in a governing instrument who, under this section, is not entitled to the payment or item of property, or for having taken any other action in good faith reliance on the beneficiary’s apparent entitlement under the terms of the governing instrument, before the payor or other third party received written notice of a claimed lack of entitlement under this section. A payor or other third party is liable for a payment made or other action taken after the payor or other third party received written notice of a claimed lack of entitlement under this section.

(2) Written notice of a claimed lack of entitlement under paragraph (1) shall be mailed to the payor’s or other third party’s main office or home by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, or served upon the payor or other third party in the same manner as a summons in a civil action. Upon receipt of written notice of a claimed lack of entitlement under this section, a payor or other third party may pay any amount owed or transfer or deposit any item of property held by it to or with the court having jurisdiction of the probate proceedings relating to the decedent’s estate, or if no proceedings have been commenced, to or with the court having jurisdiction of probate proceedings relating to decedents’ estates located in the county of the decedent’s residence. The court shall hold the funds or item of property and, upon its determination under this section, shall order disbursement in accordance with the determination. Payments, transfers, or deposits made to or with the court discharge the payor or other third party from all claims for the value of amounts paid to or items of property transferred to or deposited with the court.

(f)(1) A person who purchases property for value and without notice, or who receives a payment or other item of property in partial or full satisfaction of a legally enforceable obligation, is neither obligated under this section to return the payment, item of property, or benefit nor is liable under this section for the amount of the payment or the value of the item of property or benefit. But a person who, not for value, receives a payment, item of property, or any other benefit to which the person is not entitled under this section is obligated to return the payment, item of property, or benefit, or is personally liable for the amount of the payment or the value of the item of property or benefit, to the person who is entitled to it under this section.

(2) If this section or any part of this section is preempted by federal law with respect to a payment, an item of property, or any other benefit covered by this section, a person who, not for value, receives the payment, item of property, or any other benefit to which the person is not entitled under this section is obligated to return the payment, item of property, or benefit, or is personally liable for the amount of the payment or the value of the item of property or benefit, to the person who would have been entitled to it were this section or part of this section not preempted.