The disappearance of a loved one or endearing friend is undoubtedly one of the most tragic and painful events that one can experience.
When it appears very unlikely that a missing person will be found, it may become necessary to obtain a legal declaration of death for the person in order to distribute the estate of the person.
The Survivorship and Presumption of Death Act (the “Act”) is a British Columbia statute that governs the application for a legal declaration of death of a missing person. Under the Act, an “interested person” may make an application pursuant to the Act. An interested person can be any person who is or would be affected by an order declaring that an individual is dead. For example, an interested person can be the missing person’s next of kin, a beneficiary of the person’s life insurance, or even a creditor of the missing person.