Month: June 2020

Missing persons, guardianship and the presumption of death

Looking for a missing person

A missing person may be reported to the police. In addition, a number of organisations offer assistance in searching for a missing person.

Guardianship

A person going missing may give rise to a range of difficult financial consequences, as well as emotional and personal problems.

The Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act 2017 came fully into force on 31 July 2019. It creates a new legal status of guardian of the affairs of a missing person, enabling someone to act in the best interests of a person who has been missing (generally) for 90 days or more. Applications for guardianship must be made to the High Court and, once appointed, guardians are supervised by the Office of the Public Guardian.

Presumption of death 

The Presumption of Death Act 2013 came fully into force on 1 October 2014.

This Act enables an application to be made to the High Court for a declaration that a missing person, who is thought to have died or who has not been known to be alive for at least seven years, is presumed dead. Once it can no longer be the subject of an appeal, a declaration is conclusive as to the presumed death and effective for all purposes and against all persons. The missing person’s property passes to others and his or her marriage or civil partnership is ended.

Both Scotland and Northern Ireland have separate legislation governing the presumption of death.

KIRSTEN BENNETT HAS VAST EXPERIENCE WORKING IN THIS AREA AND REGULARLY ACTS FOR FAMILIES LEFT BEHIND.

For more information please visit our website here

The Family Court and COVID-19

An article from Family Law has suggested that The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has published a document entitled ‘The Road Ahead’, aimed at establishing a framework for the Family Court in England and Wales by attempting to chart the road ahead over the next six months or more.

In the early weeks of the COVID crisis most contested fact-finding or final welfare hearings were adjourned (unless they could proceed, for example, with minimal oral evidence). It was no doubt hoped by many that normal working would resume relatively soon and the delay in resolving the contested issues would not be great. It now seems sensible to assume that social distancing restrictions will remain in place for many months and that it is unlikely that anything approaching a return to the normal court working environment will be achieved before the end of 2020 or even the spring of 2021.

Lund Bennett offer a range of services and are Family Law Specialists. If you require our assistance or expertise, please call us today on 0161 924 0079.