The Government has confirmed that implementation of the Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act 2017 has been delayed indefinitely. The Act is designed to allow relatives or close friends of a missing person domiciled or habitually resident in England or Wales to apply to the court for a ‘guardianship order’ so they could manage the missing person's property and financial affairs without having to obtain a declaration of presumed death. A letter from the Ministry of Justice has revealed that the delays have been caused ‘by work on key departmental priorities’.
While the Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act 2017 received Royal Assent in April 2017, it is not yet in force as secondary legislation is required to set out the details of how the legislation will work in practice.
Details of this secondary legislation were set to be published in April 2018, but a recent letter from the MoJ to an MP has revealed that it has been 'delayed by work on key departmental priorities'.