Janus v. Tarasewicz
135 Ill. App. 3d 936, 482 N.E.2d 418 (1985)
Stanley and Theresa both died
after eating cyanide laced Tylenol.
Stanley died almost
Theresa hung on for two days
on life support before dying.
Both had headaches because
they were mourning the death of Stanley's brother, who had died that day
from eating cyanide laced Tylenol!
They had also come back from
their honeymoon that morning!
Stanley's mother (Janus), and
Theresa's father (Tarasewicz) both claimed Stanley's life insurance
The policy named Theresa as
the beneficiary and Stanley's mother as the contingent beneficiary.
The Trial Court found for
The Trial Court found that
there was sufficient medical evidence that Theresa had outlived Stanley.
The Appellate Court affirmed.
The Appellate Court agreed
that the manifest weight of the evidence showed that Theresa outlived
Stanley. Therefore she inherited his estate.
"Survivorship is a fact
which must be proven by a preponderance of evidence by the party whose
claim depends on the survivorship."
The Uniform Probate Code establishes that in order to inherit, there
must be clear and convincing evidence that you survived that decedent by
at least 120 hours.
The Uniform Simultaneous
Death Act has a similar 120 hour
requirement, but allows for an exception if there is clear and
convincing evidence that the inheritor survived the decedent,
even if it was less than 120 hours.