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