Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 64.2. Wills, Trusts, and Fiduciaries
Chapter 23. Persons Presumed Dead

§ 64.2-2304. Petition seeking determination of death; hearing; evidence; notice.

A. Whenever a petition is filed seeking a judicial determination that a person is dead, the court that would have jurisdiction over the person's probate estate if such person were dead shall hear evidence concerning the alleged absence of the presumed decedent and the circumstances and duration of such absence. The court shall require that notice of the filing of the petition be published once a week for four successive weeks in a newspaper published in the county or city where the petition is filed, and the notice shall include the date of the hearing, which shall be at least two weeks after the last publication.

B. At the hearing, the court shall hear all admissible evidence offered for the purpose of determining whether or not the presumption of death is applicable. If the court determines that the legal presumption of death is applicable, the court shall enter an order in accordance with § 64.2-2305, provided, however, that if the evidence shows that the length of a presumed decedent's absence is less than 10 years, the court shall immediately require notice of the order to be published once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper published in the county or city where the petition is filed and, when practicable, in a newspaper published at or near the place where the presumed decedent had his residence when last heard from. The notice shall require the presumed decedent, if alive, or any person for him, produce to the court satisfactory evidence that the presumed decedent is alive within two weeks from the date of the last publication. If no satisfactory evidence is produced within this period, the court shall enter an order in accordance with § 64.2-2305.

C. For the purposes of subsections A and B, if there is no newspaper published in the county or city in which the publication required may be had, then the court shall order that the required notice be published in a newspaper having general circulation in such county or city. The cost of the publication pursuant to this section shall be paid by the petitioner.

Code 1950, §§ 64-104, 64-106; 1968, c. 656, §§ 64.1-108, 64.1-110; 1996, cc. 352, 675, 684; 2006, c. 351; 2012, c. 614.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.