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Missing people and their property: the case for interim administration

Date:7 AUG 2012

James Brown
Barrister Senior Lecturer in Law Aston University

Mark Pawlowski
Barrister Professor of Property Law School of Law University of Greenwich

Although English law currently provides for a common law presumption of death where a person has been missing for a continuous period of 7 years there is no provision which allows the family of a missing person during the interim period to apply to court for interim management of the missing person's property and assets in his absence. A Presumption of Death Bill was tabled in 2008 modelled on the equivalent legislation which already exists in Scotland and Northern Ireland providing for a new statutory procedure for application by an interested party to the High Court for a declaration of presumed death. The Bill however did not include any provision for interim administration. Most recently in February 2012 the House of Commons Justice Committee published a report Presumption of Death (HC 1663) ...

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