Claudia's Law

A new law is being introduced today, following the case of the missing chef, Claudia Lawrence.

Claudia was reported missing in March 2009 and in accordance with the Presumption of Death Act 2013 her family had to wait 7 years to be able to register as presumed dead. During this time, they had no way to step in and deal with her affairs, Bills were not able to be paid and direct debits could not be stopped.

Claudia’s family campaigned for the new legislation which comes into force on 31 July 2019. The Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act allows the Court to appoint a ‘Guardian’ over the affairs of a missing person after they have been confirmed missing for a period of 90 days or more.

The appointments can last for up to four years and can be extended if necessary. Guardians will be able to sell, let or mortgage property, make investments, recover money, discharge debts, conduct legal proceedings, make gifts and execute deeds. This legislation brings clarity for many families across the UK, allowing them to safeguard the financial affairs of missing loved ones.

Our specialist lawyers are able to advise you and support you with your application to become a guardian. We will assist you from the outset and ensure that you understand how and when you are able to act for your loved one.

If you’re concerned about a missing person’s affairs and you’re looking for some friendly advice on how to move forward come and see a member of our specialist Court of Protection team at Talbots - phone us on 0800 118 1500 or email Lauren Jasper direct.

For further advice regarding missing persons, please call your local police on 101.

If you are extremely concerned for the welfare of the person then dial 999 and ask for the police.