A friend of mine gave me permission to share her story in the hope that it would be helpful to others. Her brother, a single man, was recently found dead in his Florida apartment. Sadly, no one in his family knows where he banked. They do not know his passwords or his Social Security number. They do not know whether he had a Will. They do know, however, that it cost the landlord $13,000 to clean the apartment as their brother’s body was not discovered for several days after his death.
Florida law prohibits the landlord from letting anyone into their brother’s apartment or releasing his belongings without an order from the Probate Court. As a result, the family has not been able to determine the extent of either his assets or his debts, which in turn makes it impossible for them to know whether it makes any sense to spend their own money to open a probate estate knowing that the landlord will be entitled to at least the first $13,000 recovered.
The lesson my friend would have us take away from her heartbreaking experience is to be sure that those we have named to take care of us or manage our affairs:
If we can help you in implementing any of these suggestions, please give us a call at (248) 477-6300.