A very hard time for the family of professional footballer Emiliano Sala. Even though the plane he was travelling in appears to have been located, failure to recover his body under the Presumption of Death Act may not only hinder the process of emotional closure but also could make dealing with his estate difficult and complicated.
There might be the issue of where Sala is domiciled as he had just completed a transfer from Nantes to Cardiff City. If Sala meets the residency requirements under the Presumption of Death Act 2013, then before his family are able to deal with his estate they will need to consider an application to the High Court under the Act to obtain a death certificate. This is not straightforward, as it will need evidence in support, such as any air, coastguard or police investigation reports, which could take a long time to complete. The application could easily take more than a year.
Where there is no conclusive evidence of death, a family may have to wait 7 years before even making the application. But Death Certificates are crucial since life insurance policies usually do not pay out and estates cannot be settled until after they have been obtained.
Undoubtedly, the last thing Emiliano Sala’s family want to be thinking about now.