New law for missing persons

The families of people who have gone missing are to be given greater support with the announcement that the Government is to introduce a certificate of presumed death.

The certificate, which will be equivalent of a death certificate in its legal power, is intended to go a long way towards simplifying the processes and problems for those who have a family member who has gone missing. The certificate is expected to help families to deal with the array of legal and financial issues that arise when a person is missing and presumed dead – for example direct debits, phone contracts, bank accounts and other financial matters.

Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly said:

‘We recognise the emotional rollercoaster faced by families who are left behind. Having a family member disappear, with no trace, will always be a confusing and difficult time for any family to have to go through.

‘The changes we are announcing today will ensure that there is a law in place that provides a simple legal framework by which families of missing people can receive the appropriate guidance and tackle the problems they face in a straightforward way.’

For more information see “Government Response to Justice Committee’s Twelfth Report of Session 2010 – 12: Presumption of Death”.


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