MPs call for “Presumption of Death” Act
by Gill Montia
Story link: MPs call for “Presumption of Death” Act
The House of Commons Justice Committee is calling for new legislation to help families when someone goes missing.
MPs want a “presumption of death act”, modelled on existing legislation in Scotland and Northern Ireland, to clarify the legal position of spouses and others who might otherwise suffer serious financial consequences over an unexplained disappearance.
Having examined the current law and processes the Committee found:
1. A legislative patchwork of bewildering complexity.
2. The inability to administer the financial situation of missing relatives.
3. A lack of information about the actions relatives are able to take.
4. Ignorance of the correct procedures to be followed by police, lawyers, banks, insurers and others.
MPs have concluded that industry guidance alone cannot solve all the problems families face when trying to resolve a missing person’s affairs.
However, guidance could alleviate at least some of the difficulties and the Committee is therefore encouraging organisations to develop this, as it will benefit the institutions concerned as well as families.