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.