New ‘missing persons’ proposals06th July 2012
Certificates stating that missing persons are “presumed dead” will soon be allowed in an attempt to bring some resolution to such difficult situations, MPs have said.
The news follows many MPs’ and protesters’ criticisms of the “crazy paving” of existing legislation, which puts families in the middle of a “confusing, costly and emotionally-exhausting legal process”.
The new legislation proposals were endorsed by the Missing People charity, which said it hoped the Government would announce the “parliamentary time to make this legislation happen”.
The new presumption of death certificates would have the same legal power as a death certificate, according to the Ministry of Justice.
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.”
A spokesperson for the Ministry also said that there would be transparent guidelines on how to sort out the affairs of a missing person, after recommendations on the matter from the Commons Justice Select Committee.
The spokesman said there is also legislation being considered by the Government on guardianship orders that would enable families to look after a missing person’s estate by reducing costs through cancelling gym membership, settling debts and paying for any dependants.
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