How Missing People can help

A lifeline when someone disappears

If someone you know is missing, we're here for you, as long as it takes.

We know that it can be difficult for families with missing loved ones to find someone to talk to who understands their unique experience. Sometimes it can feel like other people seem to stop caring or don't know what to say. We will never stop caring.

Our caring and highly trained team can offer you and your family a range of free, confidential and non-judgemental support.


Call, text or email 116 000

Missing People's helpline is free, and availble 24/7. If a friend or relative has gone missing and you need support and advice call or text 116 000 or email

Confidentiality policy

Missing People is a confidential service and we cannot trace your calls. Please see our Confidentiality Policy.


We recognise that many people are affected when someone goes missing, and we support both the families and friends of missing people. Where the word ‘family’ is used on this website or at any time to describe the charity’s services, this also includes friends and loved ones.


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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 such as dealing with their finances whilst they are away.

Only a small fraction of missing people never return, but if a relative has been missing for some time, or there are circumstances that suggest the missing person is likely to have died, some families look to resolve their relative’s affairs and administer their estate.

Here you will find guidance on how to deal with these legal issues.

Whilst this information has been provided in good faith, it should not be taken as legal advice. For information tailored to your individual circumstances, please contact your police force, solicitor or an advisory organisation as appropriate to your query. Call us on 116 000 and we can help put you in touch with organisations who can help.

New legislation, called the Guardianship (Missing Person's) Act 2017, was passed which means that families can become formal guardian's of their missing person's affairs. 

Download Guidance on applying for guardianship

Download an Overview of guardianship

We have also compiled guidance explaining and detailing other ways you might go about managing your missing loved ones affairs during this time.

Download 'Dealing with a missing person's affairs: Mortgages'.

Download 'Dealing with a missing person's affairs: Joint Mortgages'.

Download 'Dealing with a missing person's affairs: Life Insurance'.

Download 'Dealing with a missing person's affairs: Banking'.

Download 'Dealing with a missing person's affairs: Benefits'.

In some situations your local MP could be a source of help and advice.

Download our Guidance Sheet on 'How your MP could help'.

Below are guidance sheets on the presumption of death systems in place in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and England and Wales (as the law in this area differs across the United Kingdom, there is separate guidance depending on where a family lives). There is additionally a sheet on the so-called ‘seven year rule’ when dealing with a missing person’s affairs, as whilst this time period does have significance, there are cases when a person’s affairs can be resolved much sooner, or later, than seven years. 

Download 'Presumption of Death in England and Wales (2016 update)'

Download 'Presumption of Death in Scotland'.

Download 'Presumption of Death in Northern Ireland'.

Download 'When can a missing person be presumed dead: The seven year rule?

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