TN 29 (05-01)

GN 00305.086 Surviving Spouse Under Oregon Intestacy Law

A. Policy -- Deaths occurring on or after 9/15/92 through 9/8/95

The following policy applies to a surviving spouse under Oregon intestacy law where the number holder (NH) died on or after 9/15/92 up to and including 9/8/95.

1. State Law Requirements

Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) section 112.017(1993) provides that an individual must meet all the conditions in GN 00305.086A.1.a. - GN 00305.086A.1.d. to be recognized as a spouse for intestate succession.

  1. The surviving spouse and the decedent lived together and represented themselves and conducted their affairs as husband and wife;

  2. The relationship lasted at least 10 years;

  3. The relationship continued at the time of death;

  4. Neither the surviving spouse nor the decedent was legally married to another at the time of death.

NOTE: Confinement to a nursing home or hospital does not interrupt the 10 year duration of marriage requirement or preclude “holding out” as husband and wife at the time of death.

2. No Requirement

There is no requirement that either party had to:

  1. be legally free to enter into the relationship;

  2. believe they were legally married/husband and wife;

  3. believe only a State proceeding or death ended the relationship; or

  4. consent to be married.

3. Applicability

Under the Act, an applicant who is not validly married to the insured will be deemed the spouse or widow(er) of the insured if the applicant would have the same status with respect to taking a share of the NH's intestate personal property as a spouse under State law. The NH generally need not have died before an applicant can qualify under this standard. However, because, in Oregon, the surviving spouse and decedent must have conducted their affairs and represented themselves as husband and wife at the time of death, evidence necessary to satisfy this requirement is not available until death. Therefore, only surviving spouse benefits are payable under Oregon's amended intestacy statute.

4. Effective Date

Benefits are payable 11/93 and later based on deaths occurring on or after 9/15/92.

EXCEPTION: Benefits are not payable if the insured died before 11/4/93 and estate proceedings were commenced and an order of final distribution entered before 11/4/93.

5. Status of Children

For both auxiliary and survivor benefits, children born of a relationship defined in GN 0305.086A.1. are illegitimate. (See GN 00306.055 and GN 00306.100 to establish relationship.)

B. Policy -- Deaths occurring on or after 9/9/95 through 12/31/99

The following policy applies to a surviving spouse under Oregon intestacy law where the NH died on or after 9/9/95 up to and including 12/31/99.

1. State Law Requirements

ORS section 112.017(1993) was amended in 1995 and requires that an individual must meet all the conditions in GN 00305.086B.1.a. - GN 00305.086B.1.f. to be recognized as a spouse for intestate succession. Items GN 00305.086B.1.a., GN 00305.086B.1.d., and GN 00305.086B.1.e. represent a change from the 1993 edition.

  1. Both the surviving spouse and the decedent were legally capable of entering into a valid marriage contract. See GN 00305.086B.2.;

  2. The surviving spouse and the decedent lived together and represented themselves and conducted their affairs as husband and wife;

  3. The relationship lasted at least 10 years;

  4. The 10-year period ended no earlier than 2 years before the death of the decedent;

  5. During at least the last 2 years of the 10-year period, the surviving spouse and the decedent were domiciled in Oregon;

  6. Neither the surviving spouse nor the decedent was legally married to another at the time of death.

2. Legal Capability to Enter into A Valid Marriage Contract

The requirement to be legally capable to enter into a valid marriage contract can be met at the beginning of the period of cohabitation or at any point after cohabitation has begun when the impediment to a valid marriage contract is removed. Begin counting the 10-year period from the point the impediment is removed.

3. No Requirement

There is no requirement that either party had to:

  1. Believe they were legally married/husband and wife;

  2. Believe only a State proceeding or death ended the relationship; or

  3. Consent to be married.

4. Applicability

ORS section 112.017(1995) applies to claimants for surviving spouse benefits.

5. Effective Date

Surviving spouse benefits are payable 9/95 and later based on deaths occurring on or after 9/9/95 up to and including 12/31/99.

6. Status of Children

For both auxiliary and survivor benefits, children born of a relationship defined in

GN 00305.086B.1. are illegitimate. (See GN 00306.055 and GN 00306.100 to establish relationship.)

C. Policy — Deaths occurring on or after 1/1/2000

ORS section 112.017(1995) is repealed. The repeal applies to all NHs who die on or after 1/1/2000.

D. Procedure — Surviving spouse under Oregon intestacy law

Use the instructions below to develop the status of a surviving spouse under Oregon State intestacy law.

1. Development

  1. To satisfy the requirements as a surviving spouse under GN 00305.086A., develop to establish:

    • cohabitation as husband and wife; and

    • holding out as husband and wife.

    Follow the guidelines for developing common-law marriages in GN 00305.065.

    Disregard questions 8, 9, 10, 23 and 24 on the SSA-754-F4.

  2. To satisfy the requirements as a surviving spouse under GN 00305.086B., develop to establish:

    • the legal capability to enter into a valid marriage;

    • cohabitation as husband and wife; and

    • holding out as husband and wife.

Follow the guidelines for developing common-law marriages in GN 00305.065.

Disregard questions 8, 9, and 10 on the SSA-754-F4.

NOTE: The responses to questions 6 and 7 on the SSA-754-F4, while not determinative of a widow(er) relationship under Oregon's intestacy statute, add to the overall knowledge of the relationship and will help to establish whether “holding out” is met.

2. Documentation

Prepare an informal special determination for each allowance and disallowance. In MCS claims, use the RPOC screen.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200305086
GN 00305.086 - Surviving Spouse Under Oregon Intestacy Law - 07/16/2009
Batch run: 07/16/2009
Rev:07/16/2009