19/12/2011

Call For Assistance To Families On Missing

Ireland's law reform body has called for the plan to see the families of missing people to receive financial help with paying their bills.

The Law Reform Commission (LRC) on Monday published its Consultation Paper on Civil Law Aspects of Missing Persons making 18 detailed provisional recommendations for reform of the law.

The report found that between 7,000 and 8,000 people were reported missing every year in Ireland, almost 20 every day. Most of these actually turn up within a very short time, and less than 1% remain missing for a long time.

According to the most recent figures from the Garda Missing Persons Bureau, between 2003 and 2010 there were 53,915 missing persons reports; of these, 381 people remain missing.

The LRC said that, having talked to representatives of missing persons, there is a need to have a statutory framework to deal with some immediate practical problems for family members.

In particular, the LRC said there was a need to allow access to a missing person’s bank account (especially where the bank account is in his or her sole name) so that bills can be paid.

The Commission provisionally recommended that legislation should be enacted to allow the family left behind to take out a limited grant of administration of the missing person’s estate allowing the family to pay bills or, for example, to renew insurance on a car or motorbike. This process could be in place for up to 2 years with a possible extension of 2 more years.

(DW)

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