On 20 June 2013 the then Under-Secretary of State for the Ministry of Justice, my hon. Friend the Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Mrs Grant) announced she would make a further statement regarding the timing of commencement of the Presumption of Death Act 2013 (“the Act”) before the end of 2013—[Official Report, 20 June 2013; Vol. 564, c. 39WS].
When my hon. Friend made her statement in June regarding the Act it was expected that the work on the rules of court, regulations and associated procedures necessary to bring the Act fully into force would be completed in time for commencement to take place in April 2014. However, as my hon. Friend stated, this was not certain. In the event, the necessary work has not yet been completed. The proposed commencement of the Act will therefore be delayed until the next available common commencement date, 1 October 2014. I will make a further announcement to confirm the actual commencement date of the Act in due course and in any event before the summer recess.
On the same date, my hon. Friend also announced that the Ministry of Justice intended to publish a consultation paper on the possible creation of a status of guardian of the property and affairs of missing persons in 2013—[Official Report, 20 June 2013; Vol. 564, c. 39WS]. Work on this paper is progressing and publication will take place as soon as possible in 2014. I will make a further announcement in relation to the publication of the paper in due course and in any event before the Easter recess.