Presumption of death
To whom it may concern,
My father disappeared in June of 1999. He left the house with nothing but the clothes on his back and we since then have heard not a single word or any evidence that he is still alive. A missing persons case was opened when he disappeared.
I received a phone call last year indicating that he has surplus moneys and for me to be able to obtain this I need to apply/supply them with a death certificate. This I cannot do as he has not been declared dead. So i need to apply for a Presumption of death. So what I would like to know is what documentation is needed? Where do I go to start this process or any other information.
Your assistance in this would be greatly appreciated.
It is difficult to obtain a death certificate in absence of a body. South Africa law, as it stands, does not make a presumption of death automatic after a certain number of years. Only the High Court can make an order of presumption of death. Having said this, your father had been missing for a reasonably long time, and what you should therefore do is to make an application to the High Court to have a presumption of death order granted. Note that our courts have heard that absence for a long period of time is not enough. So you must in your application point out other factors too. To now answer your question on how to go about the process, my answer is that you should speak to a lawyer who will then assist with the drafting of the application, etc.