When a loved one is missing for an extended period of time, not only can it be emotionally traumatic, but there may also be additional difficulties.
These extra difficulties might include:
Only a small fraction of people stay missing for a long time, but when this does happen their relatives or other loved ones might need to look after their affairs. They may need to pay bills from the missing person’s account; cancel direct debits; make decisions about property; or look after dependents. Some people will have shared finances with a missing person so may need to manage their affairs like a joint-mortgage or joint bank accounts.
Legislation, the Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act 2017, was introduced to allow people to become guardians of a missing person’s affairs. Guardians can ‘stand in the shoes’ of the missing person: make payments from their accounts and make changes to financial arrangements.
If you have a missing loved one and need to look after their affairs you may be able to make a guardianship application.
To apply to become a guardian, you must meet the following criteria:
If you meet the criteria and understand what has been outlined in the overview download, you might wish to apply for Guardianship. There is a process to follow, and below is a document to help you through this. You will need to apply using a ‘Part 8’ court claim form which is available at the Gov.UK website.
Whilst this information has been provided in good faith, it should not be taken as legal advice. You may need to employ a solicitor if you wish to make a guardianship application.
If you would like to apply, please download our guidance below.Download guidance
If you don’t think Guardianship is right for you but you still want advice on how to manage your missing person’s finances please find some further information here.