Declaration of a Citizen's Death

Declaration of a Citizen’s Death

 

under Soviet law, a court’s finding that a citizen about whom there has been no information at his place of permanent residence for a legally established period of time is dead. A citizen may be declared dead if there has been no news of him for three years; if he has disappeared under circumstances that threatened death or that give reason to suppose that he died in a particular accident the period is six months. If a citizen has disappeared without trace in connection with military action, the declaration of death is permitted two years after the termination of the military action. The date of death of a person declared dead is considered to be the day when the court’s decision goes into legal force. If death is presumed to be the result of a particular accident (natural disaster, shipwreck), the court may declare that the person died on the date of the accident. From a legal standpoint the declaration of death is equivalent to physical death and entails the same legal consequences as death, such as the opening of a succession or the termination of marriage. If a citizen who has been declared dead reappears or if his whereabouts are discovered, the court will rescind its earlier decision and the entry of the death in the official registry books will be nullified.

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