Ian Macara appointed to Panel of Guardians

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We are delighted to confirm that partner, Ian Macara has been appointed to the Panel of Guardians for Missing Persons Affairs, he was appointed starting 1st February 2020. The Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act 2017 (GMPA 2017) received Royal Assent on 27 April 2017 and came into force in England & Wales on 31 July 2019. This new law, otherwise known as ‘Claudia’s law,’ allows families to be able to deal with the affairs of missing loved ones by way of a Guardianship Order.

The legislation is of great value to the families of missing persons. Before, the families would have to wait for a period of 7 years from the date they went missing to organise the financial matters of a missing relative. After this 7 year period, they could be presumed dead. This act now allows the Court to appoint a court-appointed person, namely a ‘Guardian’ after an absence of 90 days.

There are certain conditions that need to be met before someone can apply for a Guardianship Order and once successful, the appointed Guardian can assist with the finances of the missing person including (but not limited to) sale of property, settling of any debts and organising of any maintenance or payments to any dependants.

The Guardianship Act has received fresh media attention recently, with a renewed appeal from the family of musician Richey Edwards, who went missing in 1995 and was legally presumed dead in 2008: “His sister Rachel has spent the intervening years since her brother’s disappearance raising awareness of the issues caused by a loved one disappearing and played a major part in the campaign to enact the Guardianship Law, which allows relatives to manage their missing person’s finances.”

If you have any questions or queries relating to the GMPA 2017, or you are in the unfortunate position of having a loved one go missing then please contact Ian who will be able to provide advice and assistance on your application or query.