Lord Lucan was officially declared dead by the High Court in 1999. However, that declaration could not deal will all the administrative issues. For example, his title of Lord cannot pass to his son without a death certificate.

Under Presumption of Death Act 2013 the court has the power to:

  • Make a declaration of presumed death
  • Make an order varying or revoking a declaration of presumed death, known as a variation order
  • Determine questions relating to interests in property and to make orders in relation to interests in property

The Presumption of Death Act was the result of a campaign supported by relatives of high-profile missing people, including the chef Claudia Lawrence, who disappeared in York in 2009, and the Manic Street Preachers guitarist Richey Edwards, who went missing in 1995.