Great Southern Life Ins. Co. v. Porcaro, 869 So.2d 585 (Fla. 4th DCA Feb. 25, 2004)

Palm Beach County Circuit Court Judge Thomas M. Lynch, IV granted summary judgement against a life insurance company in favor of a woman whose husband had “mysteriously disappeared” more than two years prior to when she first filed a petition in probate court to have him declared dead. The 4th DCA reversed on the grounds that a death certificate obtained through probate proceedings pursuant to 2004->Ch0731->Section%20103#0731.103″>Section 731.103 “no longer has evidentiary value outside the context of probate proceedings.” As such, it was reversible error for the trial court judge to shift the burden of proving the decedent’s death away from the widow and onto the insurance company based on the evidentiary value of the death certificate.