You can challenge (‘intervene in’) or apply to challenge a presumption of death claim, if you think one of the following is true:
- the claim isn’t valid, eg the person making the claim isn’t a close relative of the missing person or someone who can prove that they’ve a right to make a claim
- the information in the claim is wrong, eg the missing person is not dead or died on a different day
- the court should make an additional order, eg about the missing person’s property
When you can challenge
You can challenge the claim up to 21 days from the date you received notification or the date it was advertised in the newspaper.
Read the fees guidance to find out how much you might have to pay. Read the exemptions leaflet to find out when you might not have to pay.
Challenge the claim
Use the acknowledgement of service form you were sent if you were notified of the claim, eg because you’re a relative of the missing person.
If you weren’t notified, the advert will tell you where to send an application for permission to challenge the claim.
What you need to provide
- name and address
- relationship to the missing person or other interest in the claim
- reasons for challenging
- details of any other order you want the court to make, eg about property owned by the missing person
Send your forms
Send a copy of your challenge to both of the following:
- the person who notified you, or who is named in the advert
- the court named in the form or advert
The address is on the form or in the advert.
Attend a hearing
You’ll have to attend a hearing with a High Court judge - this should be within 2 months of the claim being made.
There might be more than one hearing, depending on the circumstances.
Appeal a decision
Contact the Civil Appeals Office to appeal against the High Court’s decision.
Make a complaint
Use the complaints guidance if you’re not happy with the way you’ve been treated.