November 24, 2008 8:57
Manic Street Preachers' Richey Edwards officially dead
Family get missing guitarist's legal status updated
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Manic Street Preachers' Richey Edwards has officially been declared "presumed dead".
The guitarist went missing nearly 14 years ago, although his body has never been found.
According to the band's spokesperson, Edwards' family have obtained a court order officially changing his legal status.
They added that the matter was "hugely emotional" for the band, who along with the guitarist's family are not commenting further at this stage.
A missing person can be declared legally dead after seven years under UK law, though Edwards' parents had previously refused to take this option.
However the family’s lawyer, David Ellis, told Walesonline.co.uk that their change of heart reflected "an acceptance that his affairs have got to be sorted" and it was "not the same as an acceptance that he is dead".
Because the guitarist left no will his parents have been granted control of his estate by the court order. According to reports it is worth £455,990, although that will be reduced to £377,548 after death duties are paid.
Manic Street Preachers have continued to pay Edwards' share of band royalties despite his disappearance.
The star went missing from a hotel in central London on February 1, 1995 aged 27.
His car was found near the Severn Bridge, and it is believed Edwards took his own life, although there have been a series of alleged sightings of the guitarist around the globe since his disappearance.
As previously reported on NME.COM, the Manic Street Preachers have indicated that their next album will feature lyrics entirely written by Richey Edwards - they were left behind when he disappeared.
Have your say on Richey Edwards and his musical legacy below.
Meanwhile, check out our photo tribute to Richey Edwards.