How do you have a missing person declared dead?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How do you have a missing person declared dead?

My mother has been missing for over 35 years. The investigating detective felt like she was

deceased and her body was hidden. I feel having her declared deceased may help me gain access

to confidential records due to me being her next of kin. She would have been 74 years old now. Her

last known location was a medical facility. She was disabled. So there are documents that have not

been made available.

Asked on March 20, 2018 under Estate Planning, Florida


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the situation.  In Florida, you would neeed to file a Petition with the Probate Court and so long as you have been diligent in your search (which is different in every case) and 5 years have passed you should be ok.  Here is the statute that tells you how.  Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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