What to do if my father in law passed away 30 years ago and I just received a letter from his insurer saying that there is an unclained life insurance benefit?

UPDATED: Dec 11, 2013

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What to do if my father in law passed away 30 years ago and I just received a letter from his insurer saying that there is an unclained life insurance benefit?

They want me to fill out a small estate affidavit and obtain death certificate for both of my in-laws. I am confused about filling out the affidavit. There are a lot of blanks to fill in and I don’t have most of the information that they are asking for. How should I proceed?

Asked on December 11, 2013 under Estate Planning, Florida


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your best bet is to speak with an attorney in your area on this matter.  Here is some guidance from the Lee County Probate Clerk, which will give you an idea of what you need.  But the how and why's are specific to your facts. Good luck.

Small Estates is also known as Disposition of Personal Property without Administration. These cases are filed when formal administration is not necessary and no real property is involved. Forms are available on our web site, or upon providing a self-addressed stamp envelope, a deputy clerk will mail you the necessary forms and instructions. If requested, the clerk may also assist you with filing a small estate/ The decedent must have been a resident of Lee County at the time of death. The assets of the decedent must be $6,000.00 or less, other restrictions may be applicable depending on the circumstances. If the assets are over $6,000.00 you can not proceed with a Small Estates action and it is suggested that you consult with an attorney on how to proceed. Assets cannot exceed funeral bill. At the time of filing a small estates action, you must mail in or take a certified copy of the death certificate, a copy of the funeral bill paid in full, a copy of any documentation of the decedent's assets along with the applicable filing fees.  Assets are only released to the party who paid the final funeral bill.

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