Death isn’t a fun subject, unless of course it’s Halloween and you’re 7 years old dressed up as a skeleton and filling your sack with chocolate.

Assuming that isn’t the case, you will no doubt view the subject death with the same degree of fear, horror and sadness as most people do, whether it’s considering your own mortality, or having to consider what happens if family or friends are become ill.

There is, however, a group of people for whom death could be a relief.  When someone goes missing for a long period of time, it becomes assumed that they have died, but unless you can produce a body, you can’t produce a death certificate.  If you were in business with the missing person, or related to them, this can have implications beyond the worry and lack of closure.  It can have a significant impact on you from a commercial point of view if, for example, your ex has disappeared and you can’t claim maintenance or perhaps their name is still on the title deeds of your house, but you can’t sell it without their signature.  Not only does it stop you moving on emotionally, but it can prevent you from moving on legally and financially as well.

Offering my sympathies may not help, but I can offer practical advice too.  There are applications we can make to the Court of Protection to obtain interim relief and, eventually to obtain a declaration that the person has passed away.  In one, rather unusual case, whilst making applications to the Court, we obtained information that actually demonstrated that the person was still alive, and we were able to help the parties reconnect after many years apart.

Kleyman & Co Solicitors.  The full service law firm.  For the living and the not so living.