Evidence of death or status
(1) For the purpose of establishing death under the survivorship rules established under ORS 112.570 (Definitions for ORS 112.570 to 112.590) to 112.590 (Protection of bona fide purchasers), death occurs when an individual has sustained irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions, or when there has been an irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem. A determination of death must be made in accordance with accepted medical standards.
(2)(a) For the purpose of establishing death under the survivorship rules established under ORS 112.570 (Definitions for ORS 112.570 to 112.590) to 112.590 (Protection of bona fide purchasers), a certified or authenticated copy of a death record purporting to be issued by an official or agency of the place where the death is alleged to have occurred is prima facie evidence of the identity of the decedent and of the fact, place, date and time of death.
(b) A certified or authenticated copy of any record or report of a governmental agency, domestic or foreign, that an individual is missing, detained, dead or alive is prima facie evidence of the status of the person and of the dates, circumstances and places disclosed by the record or report.
(3) In the absence of prima facie evidence of death under subsection (2) of this section, the facts surrounding a person’s death may be established by clear and convincing evidence. Circumstantial evidence may be considered in determining whether a person has died and the circumstances of the death.
(4) An individual whose death is not otherwise established under this section but who is absent for a continuous period of five years is presumed to be dead if the person has made no contact with another person during the five-year period and the absence of the person cannot be satisfactorily explained after diligent search or inquiry. A person presumed dead under this subsection is presumed to have died at the end of the five-year period unless it is proved by a preponderance of the evidence that death occurred at a different time.
(5) In the absence of evidence contradicting a time of death specified in a document described in subsection (2) of this section, a document described in subsection (2) of this section that indicates a time of death 120 hours or more after the time of death of another person conclusively establishes that the person specified in the document survived the other person by at least 120 hours, without regard to the manner in which the time of death of the other person is determined. [1999 c.131 §5; 2013 c.366 §58]
Note: See note under 112.570 (Definitions for ORS 112.570 to 112.590).
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