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New law for missing persons

11 Jul 2012

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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