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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 17175
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I am helping a friend with a declarator of death action,

Customer Question

I am helping a friend with a declarator of death action
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: scotland
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: none except we are looking for solicitor with this specialist experience
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: The case is a suicide at sea where police confirm he is probably drowned but no body recovered
Submitted: 18 days ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 17 days ago.

Thanks for your question. I am a solicitor in Scotland with 35 years of experience in private practice and I hope that I can help you with your question today. Let me have a quick look at your question and I will either give you an initial answer or ask you for further information. I aim to respond as quickly as I can but sometimes I may want to take a little time to consider your question so as to give you the best possible answer.

Expert:  JGM replied 17 days ago.

When did the person disappear and what relation is your friend?

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
July this year and my friend is his wife of 30 years+
Expert:  JGM replied 17 days ago.

Thank you. A petition can be raised in the sheriff court after 7 years from the date that the person disappeared. If the person is not known to have been alive for 7 years a petition can be presented to the sheriff court. The legislation for that can be found here:

Expert:  JGM replied 17 days ago.

I hope this helped you today. Please do let me know if I can clarify anything. I am always happy to help. You are always welcome to ask a follow up question if it will help you further.

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
i believe you can also raise one before 7 years if there is enough evidence and it is not contested. The police evidence would support that. Do you know any firms who specialise this in Scotland ?
Expert:  JGM replied 17 days ago.

Yes, you are thinking of the “thought to have died” ground which is rarer. I think you’ll find that no solicitors will specialise in this field of work in the usual sense of specialisation because the situation arises rarely. I have provably done more than most in a 35 year career but have still only done about 10 cases. What you should be looking for is a good litigation solicitor local to you and s/he should be able to draft a Petition and the various Affidavits needed to establish the crave of the Petition.

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Thanks very much - any hints and tips - is the police evidence importance. They effectively found his brand new car parked in Turnberry with the keys left in, his clothes and wallet and glasses neatly piled up by the lighthouse on Turnberry golf course and they believe he went in the water and swam into the sunset until he could swim no more - he had undiagnosed early sports dementia - tragic really and left such a financial mess - they have money but his wife can’t access it all including pension etxlc
Expert:  JGM replied 17 days ago.

The police evidence is important as is the medical evidence and direct testimony of the family.

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Thanks a lot
Expert:  JGM replied 17 days ago.

You’re welcome.