PKWA Law quotedin the Straits Times article titled “Kin of man missing for 15 years want closure”
Head of Family Law of PKWA Law Practice Lim Chong Boon was quotedin the Straits Times article titled “Kin of man missing for 15 years want closure”
Head of Family Law of PKWA Law Practice Lim Chong Boon was quoted in the Straits Times article titled “Kin of man missing for 15 years want closure”. The article was first published on 15 April 2019.
The article shares with readers how it is sometimes difficult to obtaina court order to declare a missing person legally dead.
Below is an excerpt from the article which features comments from Lim Chong Boon:
He disappeared without a trace nearly 15 years ago. Now his family, after years of fruitless searching, is seeking a court order to declare him legally dead.
Retired construction worker Sim Toh Hock, who would now be 85, has not returned to his Bukit Panjang flat or contacted his family since heading out for breakfast on the morning of Aug 4, 2004. Notices put up in newspapers and search efforts across the island over the years have drawn a blank.
There have been only a few applications filed in the High Court in recent years for a declaration to presume a person dead, said lawyer Lim Chong Boon from PKWA Law Practice.
Based on the Singapore Law Reports, there were only four cases between 2005 and last year, he noted. Of the four, two were dismissed.
Mr Lim said that without the presumption of death declaration, government agencies and financial institutions “cannot presume that a person is dead simply on the instructions of his family members”.
Often, families apply for a declaration so that they can access and manage the missing person’s affairs. Without it, his assets remain frozen, insurance claims cannot be paid out and CPF monies cannot be released.
But the threshold is set “very high”, said Mr Lim, who has not filed such a case in more than 30 years of practice. It must be shown that the missing person has not come into contact with family and friends who are likely to have heard from him if he were alive.