Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
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One moment please as I review your question.
Give me a few minutes please to research this. I have not encountered a situation like this before. I can only imagine your frustration. Just a few moments...
Your husband's company may first want to send an invoice on his letterhead to see if the insurance company will cut a check directly to him, as contractor. It is within their discretion to do so; generally they name the bank holding the mortgage if applicable, the contractor and the homeowner.
However, it sounds as if the insurance company is not willing to work with you. In which case, since there was no probate filed, probate will need to be filed in order to determine who has legal authority to stand in for your dad. Generally, this is the executor (person named in the will). If no one is named, then the court will appoint an administrator. Under FL statute 735.201 there is a simplified procedure for small estates (less than $75K). This procedure is much simpler than a full probate. However, you do need to file the petition for a small estate with the probate clerk. The probate clerk will have this form. It is called a small estate affidavit. Please see http://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2011/735.201.
According to FLS 735.206, the court has the authority to order immediate distribution of the asset.
I am looking into another alternative to see if it is available. One moment please.
Unfortunately, there is a simpler process but it is not applicable as it is more for situations where the sole heir is requesting reimbursement for medical/funeral expenses incurred during the last 60 days of his life.
Here is an affidavit that will need to be filed with the summary adjudication: http://www.clerk.citrus.fl.us/cms/uploads/courts/Affidavit%20of%20Heirs%20Probate%20022008.pdf. This may not be your county, but it gives you an idea of the type of form you will need.
O-kay...As far as sending in a bill to them, we have done so at least 3 times. We have even spoken to the agent about the fact he hasn't gotten paid yet and she had the bill..all the bills, for material, time etc as well...and your right...they are compleatly unwilling to work with us . We have been far more then compliant and patient with their nonsense.
Now I'm really not dumb, but please tell me what you mean by summary adjudication.
I'm really not dumb, but please tell me what summery adjudication means.
Sorry it must have got lost the first time..
No; I know it is very confusing because they have fancy names for simple proceedings. It's an expedited form of probate - so you don't have to go through the statutory waiting period, get Letters issued, etc. It's more of a cursory proceeding. You file the petition for summary adjudication, pay the filing fee, and the court will, absent contest, generally "rubberstamp" the recommended distribution. It's still a hassle, and if you could persuade a manager at the insurance co., this would be the easiest resolution. Let me check on one other thing.
Here is a checklist of what you would need to do for Summ. Adjud. And I know it looks lengthy but this is the simplified approach. Still checking on something else...
This agency : http://www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/Consumers/ regulates the insurance industry. This is the link to the complaint page. If it appears that the company is stonewalling you, they may take an interest; and this may be incentive for the company to cut you a check (not you as heir; but your husband's company as contractor).
http://www.jud3.flcourts.org/Probate/Disposition%20of%20Personal%20Property%20Without%20Administration.pdf. This is by far the most simple probate process, but it would require you to show that you spent the amount of the check on funeral/last illness expenses.
I sure do hope so. This whole thing has been nothing but a hassel from day one. My poor father is turning over in his urn..he was cremated..with all this. I wonder if they would have given us all this trouble had he not passed?
I am thinking of another approach; just a sec. (And yes, they probably would have. Insurance companies are notorious for this type of delay).
This is a reach; but the clerk at the court will help you. If you fill out the form I linked to at 10:55, and then put your husband's company down on page 3 as a creditor, it is possible that the court will let you go with this method. This is by far the simplest. Technically, they may kick it out but since a creditor is not claiming exempt property it MAY work.
Here is a state bar advisory on this: http://www.floridabar.org/DIVCOM/JN/JNJournal01.nsf/8c9f13012b96736985256aa900624829/7cf83a29fd1c06c185257749007543b7!OpenDocument.
thats the www.jud3flcourts.org address your talking about right?
yes; and this is what is required per their website:
The filing fee is due at the time the Petition is filed. There is also a charge for one certified copy of the Order for Payment of Funds which is generally required by the institution holding the assets. If the judge approves the petition, an Order for Payment of Funds will be entered by the probate court which directs that the assets in question be distributed as outlined in the petition.
all the items are easy to gather..and I paid for the funeral on a credit card...paper trail..both my brothers know my husband did all the work so there is no problem there, but I think I only have a copy of the will...not an original.
If there is no will (original), the property would go intestate. This means to the surviving children in equal shares; but if your husband is the creditor, there will be no money left to distribute to heirs.
I see...Just want your thoughts on this...since Citizens is a state owned insurance company, do you think it wise I write my congressmen about their behavior in this matter?
It would be more effective to contact the agency that is legally responsible for overseeing insurance industries in FLA. I linked it above - it was quite a bit up there; one moment so I can copy and paste it here for your reference.
great...they really are out of hand and need to be "spanked and put in time out"!
Yes, especially given the undue delay. It makes one wonder if other heirs ended up just walking away, simply because they can't deal with the hassle while dealing with the loss of a family member...
It was twice as hard for us here...my Mom passed 3 weeks before my Dad so I had alot on my plate.
OH, so sorry to hear that. That must have been incredibly difficult.
It was...but they both lived long and beautiful lives and I have been most blessed to have had them as long as I did. He was 1 week away from 93 and Mom had just turned 93 the week befor she passed.
That is a long life...but too short for those left behind!
Yes..especially since I am the next generation and not a spring chicken anymore...I'm really a summer hen..hoho.
You're a senior? What county - I may be able to find free legal resources for you.
Yes...in fact I will be filing for Social security in June...my husband is already on S.S and disability.
We are in Pasco County.
Just a second please
For some reason the site won't download - but it is www.floridalawhelp.org - they have a listing of pro bono organizations and the qualifications necessary. You may want to check into that later, once their site is functioning (unless it's my connection).
Here you go: http://floridalawhelp.org/find-legal-help/directory
Wow...and a bonus as well as advise..you have been great..no better then great. There is light at the end of the tunnel because of you..Thank you so very much for taking the time to help me out with this. It doesn't seem so out of hand now.
So glad to hear. I hope all this works out as smoothly as possible. Take care, and enjoy your day!
Again thank you and I will let you know how things turn out. I have resorces to work with..something I didn't have an hour ago and I have you to thank for that. You also have a great day!
Perfect. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks!
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