By Phillip B. Rarick, Miami Probate Attorney
Note: This is a short list of initial tasks for a person who may be appointed the Personal Representative (or Executor) of an estate under a Florida will, or if there is no will, in an intestate estate. This is not a complete list of the Personal Representative’s tasks. For questions call an attorney at Rarick & Beskin, P.A. at (305) 556-5209 or email to email@example.com
____ Take possession and safeguard all assets
____ Lock and secure all real estate and household contents: Keep insured
____ Take possession of all records
____ Do not allow entry to Safe Deposit Box without witnesses and prior discussion of arrangements with attorney
____ Engage attorney
____ Engage accountant
____ Locate original will and deliver to attorney
____ Complete Master Information List
____ Collect documents on Estate Document List
____ Cancel utilities, subscriptions
____ Advise Post office to forward mail
____ Contact homeowner’s insurance and keep insurance current
____ Inventory Safe Deposit Box
____ Search records for potential creditors
____ Advise secured creditors to keep current
____ Open Estate Bank Account
____ Set up Quicken Account
____ Order Appraisal
____ Determine if any Employee Benefits
____ Contact health care providers, such as doctors, hospitals, clinics and determine if they have accepted Medicare assignment for their services. If they have, then they have agreed to accept Medicare and any other insurance payments for their services. Therefore there should be no reason for them to file a claim in the estate for any unpaid portion of their statement. If we have a list of the Medicare providers, we will prepare objections to any claims they file against the estate.
____ Social Security: If the decedent was receiving Social Security, contact (a) the Social Security Administration to inform them of the decedent’s death; (b) the bank where the social security check is being deposited directly into to inform them of the decedent’s death. The Social Security checks are issued a the first of the month and they are in payment for the previous month. The decedent must have lived the entire month to be entitled to the Social Security check. For example, if the decedent died August 15, and the Social Security check was automatically deposited on September 3, the decedent is not entitled to the September 3 check or any checks thereafter. You must contact the bank and request that they return the check to Social Security. Often the bank does this automatically as a service to customers. If the check is not returned, the Social Security Administration will take steps to collect the check(s).
____ Make a claim for Social Security death benefit if (a) decedent has enough hours worked during his or her lifetime; and is (b) survived by a spouse or dependent child. For additional information contact Social Security at 800-772-1213.
____ Determine if Fraternal lodge union or other benefits
____ Determine if veteran benefits
The information on this blog is of a general nature and is not intended to answer any individual’s legal questions. Do not rely on information presented herein to address your individual legal concerns. If you have a legal question about your individual facts and circumstances, you should consult an attorney that is experienced in Florida probate law. Your receipt of information from this website, blog, or Miami probate attorney does not create an attorney-client relationship and the legal privileges inherent therein.