THE family of a Castaways Beach man who went missing during a surfing trip to Bali last year can finally access his estate.
Kylie Maynard applied to the Supreme Court for permission to have the death of her husband, Peter, formally recognised and that she be given authority to deal with his assets.
In a judgment handed down this week - almost 10 months after Mr Maynard disappeared - Justice Roslyn Atkinson found his widow and the couple's three children were "suffering financial hardship".
Mr Maynard, 45, was last heard from by his family on August 23 last year when he arrived on Nusa Lemgongan to spend a few days surfing.
The hotel where he was staying reported him missing on August 28 when he failed to check out on time.
Mrs Maynard travelled to Bali with family members to search for him but they were unsuccessful. Fears that the popular hospitality worker had met with a surfing accident mounted when a local reported finding a piece of broken surfboard matching Mr Maynard's board.
Justice Atkinson acknowledged that "an extremely thorough search" was conducted over several days.
In her judgment, she said that it was a fact he went surfing "in what were apparently quite difficult seas".
She said the remnants of his surfboard "suggest a severe impact with a coral reef".
In Queensland, a missing person cannot be presumed dead for seven years.
But Justice Atkinson said given the extensive search for Mr Maynard, and that he had not contacted his family or accessed his bank accounts, she was satisfied that Mrs Maynard should be allowed to "swear to her husband's death".
Mrs Maynard will then be able to apply to access her husband's estate.
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