The Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act 2017 came into force on 31 July 2019 and created the role of ‘guardian’ for missing persons. Guardians are given authority to manage a person’s assets after their disappearance or whilst they are in prison. The role provides similar powers to those of an attorney or deputy for a person lacking mental capacity.
Previously, a missing person’s assets essentially became ownerless because financial institutions were unable to take instructions from family members. This was difficult for families because the missing person’s money became inaccessible for ongoing expenses, resulting in unpaid bills and property falling into disrepair.
If a person disappears or is detained in prison, a guardian should be considered to preserve and manage their assets until they return or are found to have died or are declared presumed dead after they have been missing for 7 years. Jane’s appointment means she has been recognised as a court-approved guardian.
Please contact Jane for any matters with a guardianship element.