Presumption of Death
Only a small fraction of people who go missing remain so for many years. Yet those who are not found often leave behind family members that may eventually need, or want, to resolve their affairs, such as finances or property.
Until recently, the process of gaining a death certificate for a missing person was a complex, daunting affair - with few succeeding.
Thanks to an excellent recent campaign by our partners at Missing People, involving all the Parliamentary parties, ourselves and families of missing person themselves, a new law was passed to simplify the process.
It is still a very thorough process though.
In England and Wales, you can apply to the court for a missing person to be declared presumed dead. This declaration will enable any property, money and other possessions of the missing person to be administered and will dissolve the missing person's marriage or civil partnership.
The court process stems from the Presumption of Death Act 2013, which came into force on 1 October 2014.
Missing People have led the campaign for change in this area for many years and have produced excellent advice on the process. Their factsheet is available below - and for further reading their website gives a huge amount.
The process can be more complicated when somebody is missing abroad but we have experience of this. If this is something you think you would like to explore please get in touch and we will help you through the process.