43 CFR 30.124 - When may a judge make a finding of death?
(a) A judge may make a finding that an heir, devisee, or person for whom a probate case has been opened is deceased, by reason of extended unexplained absence or other pertinent circumstances. The judge must include the date of death in the finding. The judge will make a finding of death only on:
(1) A determination from a court of competent jurisdiction; or
(2) Clear and convincing evidence.
(b) In any proceeding to determine whether a person is deceased, the following rebuttable presumptions apply:
(1) The absent person is presumed to be alive if credible evidence establishes that the absent person has had contact with any person or entity during the 6-year period preceding the hearing; and
(2) The absent person is presumed to be deceased if clear and convincing evidence establishes that no person or entity with whom the absent person previously had regular contact has had any contact with the absent person during the 6 years preceding the hearing.