Ireland: New law will allow missing persons' families apply for 'presumption of death order' - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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IrelandNew law will allow missing persons' families apply for 'presumption of death order'

13:55  15 may  2019
13:55  15 may  2019 Source:   thejournal.ie

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The Presumption of Death Act lets families take over the financial affairs of a missing person and came into force in October 2014. In the end she successfully applied for a presumption of death certificate. Image copyright Themer Slimane. Image caption Sarah Young, a partner at Ridley and Hall

New law will allow missing persons' families apply for 'presumption of death order' © Catalyst Images Government buildings Dublin Ireland

A BILL THAT will allow families of missing persons to apply for a presumption of death order has been approved by Cabinet.

The legislation when enacted will mean the estate of a missing person who is presumed to have died can be administered and their affairs can be put in order. It will also bring marriage or civil partnership to an end.

The bill started as a Private Members’ Bill, initiated by Senators Colm Burke, Marie-Louise O’Donnelland Lynn Ruane, but there is support for the proposed legislation on both sides of the House.

New law will allow missing persons' families apply for 'presumption of death order' © Sam Boal RollingNews.ie Families attending the 2017 Missing Persons Day ceremony in Dublin. The government has submitted a number of technical amendments to the Civil Law (Presumption of Death) Bill and yesterday agreed for a money message to allow it to proceed to committee stage in the Dáil today.

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Families of missing people will be given help to cope with the complex legal and financial issues they face under plans backed today by the Government. This guidance on presumption of death provides advice on the current law and support to families of missing people.

There is no presumption of death before the expiration of seven years from the time the missing person was last heard of or seen. The same applies for airline disasters, lost at sea or other similar incidents which because of the circumstances, would lead inextricably to a presumption of death .

Senator Burke welcomed the move, pointing out that as the law stands now, there is no legal procedure to allow for a person’s estate to be managed if they are missing and it is clear from all available evidence they have died.

“Their families and friends are left in limbo, unable to take any action in respect of the person’s affairs,” he said.

A death certificate cannot be issued, life insurance policies will not be processed and no decisions can be made in respect of the assets of the person’s estate.

The bill will apply where the circumstances of the disappearance indicate death is “virtually certain” or where the length of disappearance indicates it is highly probably the person has died.

Burke said the aim is to provide a clear pathway for families to “overcome those challenges at what is already a very difficult time”.

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A new Presumption of Death Act, based on the Scottish model, would only allow families to apply for a presumption of death order after seven years. "We are already working to improve guidance relating to coroners' inquests where a person is missing and presumed dead and will look at other

Families of missing people will be given greater support when a loved one goes missing with today’s announcement that the Government will Updating the law on presumption of death is just one of the changes now underway following a number of recommendations by the Justice Select Committee.

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