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Managing a missing relative’s affairs

Following an indefinite delay to its implementation, the Ministry of Justice has announced assurances that the Guardianship Missing Persons Act will in fact come into force by July 2019.

The Guardianship Missing Persons Act allows certain relatives of people who go missing to look after their property and financial affairs. In order to be able to do this, the relatives would need to apply to the court for a guardianship order.

To apply for a guardianship order, the missing person would need to have been missing for at least 90 days and the court would have to be satisfied that making the order would be in the best interests of the missing person. The relative may also have to pay a bond to the court to protect against them misusing the order and abusing the powers given to them to look after the missing persons affairs.

This new legislation has been welcomed by many as it is recognised that currently it can be very difficult for relatives of missing persons who have no legal right to step in and continue to manage their affairs.

For advice on Private Client matters, please contact Nicole Gallop Mildon, Head of Private Client.