The family of a Manchester man found dead under a motorway bridge after nine years missing are winning the battle for a certificate declaring someone as ‘presumed dead’.
Vinny Derrick disappeared in August 2003 after a night out in the city and his body was found near Stockport in February.
And his wife Vicky has campaigned for the certificate to ease families having to deal with the financial affairs of a missing person.
MPs have criticised the ‘crazy paving’ of different provisions that leave families facing a ‘confusing, costly and emotionally-exhausting legal process’.
Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly said: "We recognise the emotional rollercoaster faced by families who are left behind.
"Having a family member disappear, with no trace, will always be a confusing and difficult time for any family to have to go through.
"The changes we are announcing today will ensure that there is a law in place that provides a simple legal framework by which families of missing people can receive the appropriate guidance and tackle the problems they face in a straightforward way."
The Ministry of Justice said the presumption of death certificate would have the same legal power as the standard death certificate.
The government will also prepare recommendations on how to deal with a missing person’s affairs and is also considering MPs’ calls for guardianship orders to allow families to maintain the person’s estate.
Martin Houghton-Brown, chief executive of the Missing People charity, said: "We are delighted with the support that the Ministry of Justice is showing for legislation on presumption of death, and look forward to them identifying parliamentary time to make this legislation happen.
"This announcement shows significant intention to work towards a better future for families of missing people, representing huge step towards easing their heartache with clear legislative guidance."