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Should I an adult child have been notified when my father died and my mother was found to need someone to care for her?

Sarasota, FL |

I was not notified that neither of my parents had died. I just recieved my mothers will that is in probate court. What are the laws in Florida for notification? Should I an adult child have been notified that my parent was being placed in a nursing facility?

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Attorney answers 3


It all depends on the situation. Who do you feel was supposed to notify you? Did your mother have estate planning in place? If she did, then SHE specified who was entitled to notice. She may also have specified who should NOT have been notified or given information.

From a moral standpoint, I cannot imagine why someone who knew you would not have contacted you, unless he/she felt you were a disruptive influence on your mother. Even then, when someone passes away, I know of no justification for not telling their children and giving them a chance to pay their respects and grieve that loss. I think it takes a special kind of selfishness to deny that. I am not sure who in your life that could apply to. There is no legal duty that I am aware of, however.

James Frederick

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There is no legal duty for a third party to inform you of a parent's death or placement in a nursing facility. The only requirement is that you are notified for purpose of probate or receipt of trust assets.
It's important to keep in mind that the law only covers one aspect of the situation. We all want notification of major events in our family's lives, but until someone is given that responsibility, it doesn't always happen.

Please note that I am answering this question as a service through Avvo but not as your attorney and no attorney-client relationship is established by this posting. An attorney-client relationship can only be established through signing a Fee Agreement and paying the necessary advanced fees.


Morally, yes, you should have been. Legally, the state has no responsibility to try to track down relatives of the seniors that retire here, which is why having a list of ICE (in case of emergency) persons on or near your phone. Too many seniors become very complacent and don't think about those things, so it is up to family members, such as yourself to make sure that the information is readily available in case of an emergency. I am very sorry for both of your losses, but there is no legal requirement that the state notify those they are not aware of.

Carol Johnson Law Firm, P.A. : (727) 647-6645 : : Wills, Trusts, Real Property, Probate, Special Needs: Information provided here is anecdotal and should not be relied upon or considered legal advice. Every matter is different and answers given here are general in nature and may not reflect current Florida law at the time you are reading this posting. Please contact me if you feel you need additional assistance with your matter.