How long does it take for a missing person to be declared dead?

Asked on November 2, 2015 under Insurance Law, Minnesota


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

In attempting to determine whether a missing person has died there is a legal presumption that they are alive until proved dead. Where evidence indicates that the mising person was subject to a particular peril, they will be legally presumed dead; in MN this time period is 4 years (but this time period may be shortened such as in the case of an airplane crash, etc. when no body is found). 
That all havig been said, a court will not make the assumption that a missing person is dead unless it is reasonable to assume so, therefore a person will not be declared legally dead without proof that a genuine and complete search was made for them.

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