Simultaneous death refers to an event in which the testator and the sole beneficiary, usually husband and wife, die at the same time or in a short time of each other. If this were to happen then it is possible that all your assets could pass through probate twice. Which means taxes and other probate fees will need to be paid all over again.
To avoid this situation, you may want to consider using a provision in your trust that states that a beneficiary must survive you a certain length of time before any assets are transferred. Most states have adopted what is called the 120 Hour Rule. Which means that beneficiaries who die within 120 hours of the testator are treated as if they had died at the same time, even though they may not have died in the same event. So, neither would inherit the other's estate and each would be taxed separately. Therefore, the surviving heirs would only inherit both estates once. Thus saving a lot of time and money on an additional probate process.
Always consult with a professionalEstate Planning Attorney regarding trust provisions and other California probate procedures.
*This blog entry was not written by an Attorney and should not be constituted as professional legal advice.