The Public Trustee Act defines a missing person as follows:
“In this Act, ....“missing person” means a person who cannot be found after all reasonable efforts have been made to locate him and includes a person who dies intestate or intestate as to some part of his estate without leaving any known heir-at-law living in the province or any heir-at-law who can be readily communicated with living elsewhere or where the only heir-at-law is an infant or where Her Majesty in right of the Province has an interest in the estate or proceeds thereof.”
In other words, a missing person is a person who cannot be found after all reasonable efforts have been made to find them. A missing person may also be a person who dies under these conditions
The following situations are also included in the definition of missing person:
If a person meets these criteria, and has property or other assets that must be protected or dealt with in some other way, someone can apply to the Supreme Court to have the court declare them to be a missing person.
The person making the application to the Supreme Court to declare someone to be a missing person must notify the Public Trustee. The Public Trustee becomes the guardian of the estate of the missing person as soon as it receives the court documents.
Once the Public Trustee has the court documents, it may take control of the property and other belongings of the missing person and protect these until the court orders what should be done with them.
A judge must see evidence that shows what efforts have been made to try to find the person before the court will declare someone to be a missing person.
The court may grant an order approving the sale of a missing person’s property if it is satisfied that the sale of the land is in the best interests of that person. The order will state what legal fees the Public Trustee may charge for representing the missing person, and what trustee fees the Public Trustee may charge while it manages and holds in trust the proceeds from the net sales for the missing person. The funds from the sale are held in trust by the Public Trustee for the benefit of the missing person.