Practical help for families

There can be a lot to do and understand when someone goes missing. We can help guide you through.

Dealing with practical tasks

There will be things that you need to do immediately, such as speaking to the police, and then a bit later should they stay missing, such as thinking about their family and pets. If an adult remains missing, you may need to make arrangements for their affairs, property and money.

To help families with this, we have campaigned for legislation change, and the Presumption of Death Act 2013, and the Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act 2017, are now in place. We are here to help and try and navigate through some of the complexities you might be facing. If you can’t find the information you need, get in touch and we can see if we can work it out together.

We’re here to support you, for free and in confidence. Call or text 116 000.

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Helpful Guides

Knowing what to do can be difficult to navigate. There are tasks and things that might need doing while others might be relevant at different points. Read our list of some of the key things to consider.

It is often not easy when someone comes back.  Read our guidance on how to make sure you, and your returned person, are supported.

Find out what the key things are that you need to know about finances, employment and housing while your missing person is away.

If your person has been missing a number of weeks, find out whether you are able to appoint a trusted person to use and look after the property and financial affairs of the person who is missing.

People may think they need to wait seven years before they can consider dealing with a missing person’s affairs. Read more about the ‘seven year rule’ and find out whether this applies to you, as sometimes it may be possible to resolve things earlier.

If your loved one has sadly been missing many years, find out how you can resolve their affairs by applying for a Certificate of Presumed Death.

If you are worried about someone going missing, or they have returned and might go missing again, find out how you can prepare by capturing their scent for a search dog to follow.

Explore which other agencies help in the search for a missing person.

Other helpful stuff