New York Consolidated Laws, Estates, Powers and Trusts Law - EPT § 2-1.7 Presumption of death from absence; effect of exposure to specific peril
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(a) A person who is absent for a continuous period of three years, during which, after diligent search, he or she has not been seen or heard of or from, and whose absence is not satisfactorily explained shall be presumed, in any action or proceeding involving any property of such person, contractual or property rights contingent upon his or her death or the administration of his or her estate, to have died three years after the date such unexplained absence commenced, or on such earlier date as clear and convincing evidence establishes is the most probable date of death.
(b) The fact that such person was exposed to a specific peril of death may be a sufficient basis for determining at any time after such exposure that he or she died less than three years after the date his or her absence commenced.
(c) The three-year period provided herein shall not apply in any case in which a different period has been prescribed by statute.
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