Aug 29, 2018

The Property of Missing Persons in Australia

On 21 May 2017 the Sunshine Coast Daily posted an article titled ’16 People Go Missing Every Day in Queensland.’ The journalist quoted an enforcement official saying. “The children are a large chunk of our business. Typically, they go missing after a fight with a sibling, because they have a chore, or they’re forgetful.” This has agonising consequences for their parents, although thankfully most return or someone finds them.


Missing adults add another layer to the pain because they leave property, bank accounts, and investments behind. Somethings they manage these at a distance. If they do not, somebody has to pick up the pieces. This is usually their closest relative and they often have no idea what to do.

How to Manage the Affairs of a Missing Person

The Australian National Missing Persons Coordination Centre has issued a guide on the subject. We provide the basics here as a service. You could also access the web page  for the Australian Federal Police Missing Persons. It reports that Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, and Victoria have legislated schemes for managing the property and finances of missing persons. These states have processes for appointing managers to make decisions on the missing person’s behalf.

In other Australian states, friends and relatives have to rely on provisions for administering unclaimed or uncared-for property, including finances. After the person has been missing for some time, the painful prospect arises of initiating a coronial process. This is an enquiry into suspected or actual death, with a view of allowing the lives of surviving people to continue. This is essential where pension and life insurance benefits are pending, or the spouse wishes to remarry.

We intend the above information to be a guide only, and not a substitute for professional legal advice. Your Legal Aid Office may also be able to assist. The Caxton Legal Centre has a handy guide for what to do in Queensland.

How QLD Covert Investigations May Help

The QLD Covert Investigations Team includes a missing persons unit adept at locating missing people on the Gold Coast, Queensland generally, and in Australia and other countries too. Our investigators are skilled, experienced, and government licensed with a record of success.

We have helped hundreds of clients find their loved ones in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and North America in the course of the past fifteen years. If you are in a situation where you need help finding someone, please contact us to open a case or call the Missing Persons Investigations Manager on 1300 553 788 or +61 401 553 551.

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