A Very Unexpected Use - For a Death Certificate!

Posted By Jay Kaufman || 6-Aug-2013

As Practice Manager at Kaufman Law Group, one of my responsibilities is to keep an alphabetical file of death certificates of clients and their loved ones who we have helped in settling estates. I have often wondered how long we need to keep these, especially after an estate is settled.

I recently received my answer, on a very personal note. My mom received a jury summons to the Daley Center —for my DAD! Irwin Rose died on December 9, 2009. He resides at Shalom Park in Arlington Heights. Failure to obey the summons is punishable by a fine. Attending jury duty in Cook County, Illinois, would be difficult at best. (Maybe this is how some people continue voting in our area!)

I called the automated line and was connected with an attendant, who was shocked when I told her the circumstances. “We got his name from the Secretary of State’s office.” The only way to release Dad from his obligation of service is to send–you guessed it– a copy of his death certificate from 4 years ago! Jay asks, “What are they going to do if Dad doesn’t show up?”

So, sadly, the file in my drawer will continue to grow due to the natural way of things. But now, I understand the reason for keeping it intact. So, when you are cleaning files at home, keep a copy of your loved ones’ death certificate. You might never know who needs proof that my Dad or your loved ones are no longer available.

Karen (Rose) Kaufman

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