West Virginia Code
CHAPTER 42. DESCENT AND DISTRIBUTION.
ARTICLE 5. UNIFORM SIMULTANEOUS DEATH ACT.
Where the title to property or the devolution thereof depends upon priority of death and there is no sufficient evidence that the persons have died otherwise than simultaneously, the property of each person shall be disposed of as if he had survived, except as provided otherwise in this article.
Where two or more beneficiaries are designated to take successively by reason of survivorship under another person's disposition of property and there is no sufficient evidence that these beneficiaries have died otherwise than simultaneously the property thus disposed of shall be divided into as many equal portions as there are successive beneficiaries and these portions shall be distributed respectively to those who would have taken in the event that each designated beneficiary had survived.
Where there is no sufficient evidence that two joint tenants or tenants by the entirety have died otherwise than simultaneously the property so held shall be distributed one half as if one had survived and one half as if the other had survived. If there are more than two joint tenants and all of them have so died the property thus distributed shall be in the proportion that one bears to the whole number of joint tenants.
Where the insured and the beneficiary in a policy of life or accident insurance have died and there is no sufficient evidence that they have died otherwise than simultaneously the proceeds of the policy shall be distributed as if the insured had survived the beneficiary.
This article shall not apply to the distribution of the property of a person who has died before it takes effect.
This article shall not apply in the case of wills, living trusts, deeds, or contracts of insurance wherein provision has been made for distribution of property different from the provisions of this article.
This article shall be so construed and interpreted as to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law in those states which enact it.
This article may be cited as the Uniform Simultaneous Death Act.
All laws or parts of laws inconsistent with the provisions of this article are hereby repealed.
If any of the provisions of this article or the application thereof to any persons or circumstances is held invalid such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the article which can be given effect without the invalid provisions or application, and to this end the provisions of this article are declared to be severable.