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Missing at sea

Missing at sea

A couple of years ago we had a case where the deceased went “missing at sea”. His wife had to make a claim for a declaration of presumed death. Although he had not been missing for more than 7 years it was clear that he had died and that he went missing following a boating accident. But a missing person is not automatically presumed dead. You must make a claim for declaration of presumed death if you want to deal with the estate.

You can make a claim if you are the missing person’s spouse, parent, child or brother or sister, or a civil partner.

If you do not fall into one of these categories, for example, you are a more distant relative then you will need to prove to the court that you have enough of a connection to entitle you to seek a declaration.

One or more of the following must also apply:-

  • You are the missing person’s spouse or civil partner and you are domiciled in England and Wales.
  • You are the missing person’s spouse or civil partner and you have been living in England and Wales for the entire year before the date you make the claim.
  • The missing person treated England or Wales as their permanent home (“domiciled”) on the date they were last known to be alive.
  • The missing person was living in England or Wales for the whole year before the date they were last known to be alive.

It costs over £500 in court fees to get a declaration of presumed death.

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For further information, please call us on 0808 278 5949 or contact us online.

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