Presumption of Death Act
REVISED STATUTES, 1989
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An Act Respecting
Presumption of Death
1 This Act may be cited as the Presumption of Death Act. R.S.,
c. 354, s. 1.
2 In this Act,
Order of presumption of death
- (a) "Court" means the Trial Division of the Supreme Court of
Nova Scotia or a judge thereof;
- (b) "interested person" means any person who is or would be
affected by an order made under this Act and includes
- (i) the next of kin of the person in respect of whom an order is
applied for or made,
- (ii) a person who holds property of the person in respect of
whom an order is applied for or made, and
- (iii) the Public Trustee. R.S., c. 354, s. 2.
3 (1) Where, upon the application of an interested person by
originating notice of motion, the Court is satisfied that
the Court may make an order declaring that the person shall be presumed
to be dead for all purposes, or for such purposes only as are specified in
- (a) a person has been absent and not heard of or from by the
applicant, or to the knowledge of the applicant by any other
person, since a day named;
- (b) the applicant has no reason to believe that the person is
- (c) reasonable grounds exist for supposing that the person is
Content of order
(2) An order made under subsection (1) shall state the date on which
the person is presumed to have died.
Amendment or revocation of order
(3) Any interested person may, with leave of the Court, apply to the
Court for an order to vary, amend, confirm or revoke an order made
under subsection (1).
Order as proof of death
(4) An order, or a certified copy thereof, declaring that a person shall
be presumed to be dead for all purposes or for the purposes specified in
the order is proof of death in all matters requiring proof of death for such
Effect of order on insurer
(5) No order issued pursuant to this Section shall be binding upon the
insurer of the life of the person presumed to be dead until such time as
a Court upon such notice and after such hearing as the Court may
determine declares that the order applies to such insurer. R.S., c. 354, s. 3.
If personal representative believes person alive
4 Where an order has been made declaring that a person shall be
presumed to be dead for all purposes or for the purpose of distributing
his estate, and the personal representative of the person presumed to be
dead believes or there are reasonable grounds for him to believe that the
person is not in fact dead, the personal representative shall not thereafter
deal with the estate or remaining estate unless the presumption of death
is confirmed by an order made under subsection (3) of Section 3. R.S.,
c. 354, s. 4.
5 (1) Where a person who is presumed to be dead is in fact alive,
any distribution of his property that has been made in reliance upon an
order made under Section 3, and not in contravention of Section 4, shall
be deemed to be a final distribution and to be the property of the person
to whom it has been distributed as against the person presumed to be
Undistributed property of person found alive
(2) Where a person who is presumed to be dead is found by the Court
to be alive, the Court may, upon the application of any interested person,
and subject to subsection (1), by order give such directions as the Court
considers appropriate respecting the undistributed property of the person
found to be alive and its preservation and return. R.S., c. 354, s. 5.
Distribution where person in fact dead
6 Where a person who is presumed to be dead is in fact found to be
dead, any distribution of his property that has been made in reliance upon
an order made under Section 3 shall be deemed to be a final distribution
and to be the property of the person to whom it has been distributed as
against any person who would otherwise be entitled if the order made
under Section 3 had not been made. R.S., c. 354, s. 6.
7 Any interested person may appeal an order made under this Act to
the Appeal Division of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. R.S., c. 354,
8 Where, pursuant to this Act, an application is made or an order
appealed from, a copy of the documents on application or appeal and all
other relevant documents pertaining to such application or appeal shall be
served upon the Public Trustee and the Public Trustee shall be entitled
to make representation to ensure that the interest and the property of the
person in respect of whom the order is sought or the appeal made are
protected. R.S., c. 354, s. 8.
Common law rights preserved
9 Nothing in this Act contained shall preclude a person who at
common law could make an application for a presumption of death from
making such an application and a Court from granting the same. R.S.,
c. 354, s. 9.
Part VIII of Insurance Act
10 Where there is any conflict between this Act and Part VIII of the
Insurance Act, the provisions of this Act apply. R.S., c. 354, s. 10.
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