When a person goes missing, there is currently no legal mechanism for another person to manage his or her affairs during his or her absence. This can lead to the dissipation, deterioration or loss of the missing person’s assets and can deprive dependants of the support they need.

The Ministry of Justice is consulting on whether to create a system that would enable a guardian to manage the property and affairs of a person who has gone missing.  The consultation also asks, if a new system of guardianship of the property and affairs of missing persons is created, what the process and terms of such an appointment should be.

It is aimed at anyone in England and Wales interested in what happens to the property and affairs of a missing person before he or she returns or is found or presumed to have died.  This includes:

  • people who have been missing, but have returned;
  • families of people who are or have been missing;
  • professional advisers, charities and other organisations that are involved with missing people and their families; and
  • businesses (e.g. banks) and other bodies (e.g. local authorities) who have had to deal with problems related to the property and affairs of a missing person

Your views are extremely welcome - please respond to the consultation paper here: https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/guardianship-property-and-affairs-missing-persons/consult_view

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