The Law Reform Commission of Ireland has released a Consultation Paper on Civil Law of Missing Persons
"The main feature of current law in this area is that there is a presumption that a missing person is alive for up to 7 years, and that a presumption of death applies after 7 years. These presumptions may be rebutted by contrary evidence, so that a person can be presumed dead where they have been missing for less than 7 years; and an absence of 7 years does not always lead to a declaration of presumed death."
"In the Consultation Paper the Commission examines how the existing law in this area deals with, for example, succession rights of family members, payment of any life insurance policy and the ongoing legal status of a marriage or civil partnership. The Consultation Paper also deals with the precise circumstances in which a declaration of presumed death (in some countries, also referred to as a declaration of death in absentia) may be issued before or after 7 years have elapsed. The Commission also examines the effect that long absence (or a declaration of presumed death) has for the civil status of a missing person. This is especially important if he or she returns after a long time; in turn, this raises civil status questions such as whether his or her marriage remains valid, whether parental responsibilities to any children remain in place and whether any dealings with his or her property during his or her absence should stand."
"In the Consultation Paper, the Commission also examines some immediate practical problems for family members – often referred to as those left behind – such as how to access a missing person‘s bank account (especially where the bank account is in his or her sole name) so that bills can be paid. As discussed in the Consultation Paper, the Commission notes that this area needs to be dealt with separately from the question of presumed death."
The Commission also looks at the approach to the question of missing persons in other jurisdictions such as Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales, Australia and Canada.
Labels: comparative and foreign law, family law, government_Ireland, law commissions, property law, wills and estates