British bride-to-be Alex Lancaster was shocked when she got the call from her future father-in-law telling her that her American fiance Tucker Blandford had committed suicide by throwing himself in front of a car.
But Lancaster was no less shocked when, upon calling Blandford's parents house only a few hours later, she discovered that Tucker was actually quite alive, reports the UK's Daily Mirror. Blandford had apparently gotten cold feet about the couple's engagement. But instead of calling off the wedding, he decided to call his fiance and pretend to be his own dad; not exactly the most well-conceived plan.
Beyond just being a bad idea, is faking your own death actually legal?
Faking Your Own Death Is (Theoretically) Legal
There's really no law, at least federally, against faking your own death. However, that doesn't mean you should start brainstorming your new back story.
Although faking one's own death may be technically legal in and of itself, there's a high probability that doing so will inadvertently lead to fraud -- including fraudulent payment of life insurance or Social Security benefits to your family members -- or other crimes such as tax evasion. It can also lead to potential civil penalties for defaulting on debts and other obligations.
What If The Government Fakes Your Death for You?
Still, not all death fake-outs are self-perpetrated. An Ohio man has been declared dead by courts twice, once in 1994 and again in 2013, but he's still very much alive.
Unfortunately for Donald Miller Jr. and his family, however, he's stuck in something of a bureaucratic purgatory. After being declared dead when he went missing in 1994, Miller returned 11 years later and sought to be revived in the eyes of the law.
An Ohio probate court ruled that Miller must remain dead, as the statute of limitations for appealing his death decision had passed. The Social Security Administration disagrees, however, and wants Miller's two daughters to repay the Social Security death benefits they received the first time Miller was declared dead.
So as Blandford may have found out, having loved ones believe you're dead when you're not rarely solves any problems.
- Tucker Blandford Fakes Death To Avoid Wedding (The Huffington Post)
- Banker Who Faked Own Death Busted by Window Tint (FindLaw's Blotter)
- Navy Commander Allegedly Faked His Death to End Affair (FindLaw's Legally Weird)
- NYC School Employee Faked Her Child's Death for Vacation Time (FindLaw's Legally Weird)