Overhaul needed of legal issues in missing person cases: Commission

The Law Reform Commission is calling for changes to help lessen the trauma and financial difficulty experienced by the families of missing persons.

It wants to enable families to apply for a court order declaring a relative "presumed dead" earlier than the current cut-off point of seven years missing.

The commission is also calling for families to be granted access to a missing person's bank account.

It also suggested allowing the family of a missing person to apply to the Circuit Court for permission to rent out a property mortgaged to the person, so that the rent could be applied to the mortgage.

The Law Reform Commission said the changes were urgently needed to help families to deal with the emotional trauma of their loved one going missing.

The Commission's Marie Baker said: "Not only is it emotionally difficult, but the legal structures are difficult to follow, somewhat expensive and overly cumbersome."

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