The Government has today taken the next step towards implementing a new law in July to allow families to look after their missing loved ones financial and legal affairs.
In response to the consultation about the Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act 2017, a Government spokesman confirmed that the rules, regulations and code of practice for the new system were being finalised so that it could be implemented in two months’ time.
The act is the result of eight years campaigning by families of missing people, the charity and by supportive parliamentarians.
An estimated 2,500 families are currently struggling to manage their missing person’s affairs, unable to ensure their loved one’s home and finances are maintained and their dependants cared for.
Some may face further issues if a family member has joint assets (like a joint mortgage) with the missing person, or is financially dependent on them. In the worst cases, finances may be damaged beyond repair and homes repossessed.
“It is welcome news that the Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act 2017 will become law shortly, and that the Government has affirmed the July date,” said Jo Youle, CEO of Missing People. “The changes are long overdue, and should relieve some of the unbearable additional pressures the families of missing people face as they wait for news.”