Presumption of death

Relatives of those who are missing are amongst many who have welcomed the passing into law of the new Presumption of Death Act 2013.

The new Act, which came into effect on 26th March allows relatives to apply for a single certificate declaring someone presumed dead thus helping them to deal with that person’s estate and affairs.

Demanded by many traumatised families in the last few years, the new law will allow an application to be made for a “certificate of death” by relatives who fear that a missing person has died or where there is only limited evidence of death. Without such a declaration, banks and other organisations have historically refused to accept that a missing person has died, leading to delays in inheritance or payments of insurance and a trail of financial chaos for families.

The intention of the new legislation is to allow a missing person’s affairs to be managed effectively and more quickly.

Should new evidence arise that a person presumed dead in fact survives, application can be made to the same court to vary or revoke the declaration of presumed death, where it is appropriate to do so.

If you have any concerns regarding the Presumption of Death Act 2013, or any other legal issues, please do not hesitate to contact us today.


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