a. The Superior Court may declare the absentee dead, if it is satisfied that the absentee should be presumed dead under the provisions of N.J.S.3B:27-1 . Under the provisions of subsection a. of N.J.S.3B:27-1 the Superior Court may, if it concludes from a review of the evidence, both direct and circumstantial, that the earlier death of the absentee has been established and that the death occurred prior to the institution of the proceeding before the court, fix the date of death earlier than the expiration of the 5 year period set forth therein. Under the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.3B: 27-1 the death is presumed to have occurred at the time of the catastrophic event. A declaration with respect to a nonresident shall affect only property located within the State.
b. At the request of an applicant who has obtained a declaration based on subsection b. of N.J.S.3B:27-1 with respect to a resident of this State, the court shall order the State registrar of vital statistics to issue, at no cost to the applicant, a death certificate. The State registrar may indicate on such certificate that it was issued pursuant to court order in accordance with this section.
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