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Presumption of Death Act 2013

Schedule 1 Register of Presumed Deaths

Entries in register of presumed death

60.Paragraph 1 provides that when the time for appeal against a declaration has expired without an appeal being made or any appeal has been dismissed or withdrawn (section 3(3)) the High Court must send a copy of the declaration to the Registrar General for England and Wales (see definition in section 20(1)) together with any information prescribed in regulations made by her (paragraph 1(1) and (3)). On receipt of the declaration the Registrar General will enter in the register the name of the missing person (defined in section 20(1)) and the other information specified in regulations made by the Registrar General (paragraph 1(2) and (3)). The Registrar General will also ensure that the entry so made is included in the index of registers of deaths (defined in paragraph 7) so that the entry can be found on a search of the index. Regulations made by the Registrar General under paragraph 1 require the approval of the Secretary of State and are to be made by statutory instrument (see section 19).

Amendment and cancellation of entries in the Register

61.Paragraph 2 makes similar provision for changes to the register and the index consequent on the making of a variation order.

Searches and certified copies (paragraph 3) and Proof of death (paragraph 4)

62.Paragraph 3(1) extends the right to search the index of registers of deaths to include the entries made in it in relation to presumed deaths in accordance with paragraph 1(2)(b). Paragraph 3(2) confers a general entitlement to a certified copy of an entry in the Register of Presumed Deaths, but the Registrar General can (other than in circumstances prescribed in regulations made by the Secretary of State) refuse to provide a certified copy until the prescribed fee is paid (paragraph 6(2) and (3)). Paragraph 3(3) and (4) ensure that certified copies must be sealed or stamped with the seal of the General Register Office and that they will otherwise have no force or effect. If they purport to be so sealed or stamped they are to be accepted as proof of death (paragraph 4).

63.Paragraph 3(5) applies section 34(5) of the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953 in relation to a copy of an entry in the Register of Presumed Deaths as it applies in relation to a copy of an entry in a register made under the 1953 Act. Section 34(5) of the 1953 Act provides that:

(5)A certified copy of an entry in a register or in a certified copy of a register shall be deemed to be a true copy notwithstanding that it is made on a form different from that on which the original entry was made if any differences in the column headings under which the particulars appear in the original entry and the copy respectively are differences of form only and not of substance.

Correction and annotation of the Register

64.Paragraph 5 makes provision for the correction of clerical errors in the register. Substantive correction will only follow the order of the court, but clerical errors may be corrected on the authority of the Registrar General.

65.Paragraph 5(3) enables the Registrar General to annotate the register. Paragraph 5(4) and (5) require the Registrar General to annotate the register where the death of a person who is presumed to have died is actually registered under the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953 or under equivalent legislation in another jurisdiction.


66.Paragraph 6(1) specifies that such fee as the Secretary of State may provide in regulations (paragraph 6(3)) is payable for a certified copy of an entry in the Register of Presumed Deaths. See generally as to regulations, section 19.

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