Tallahassee, FL asked in Estate Planning, Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Florida

Q: 5yo Funeral Bill & Fresh Beneficiary Payout

I hadn't spoken to my husband for 8 months when he died 5yrs ago & his sister voluntarily paid his funeral bill w/o asking me for reimbursement tho she asked me to sign consent for cremation as next of kin. No probate was filed; I didn't think he had anything to his name. I recently found out that his sister's been trying to claim his pension acct for the past 2yrs but they told her I was the legal beneficiary. They transferred it to me when I called to ask about it before I could ask about my options. I think she's filed a small claims case against me for the cremation even tho I haven't heard from her in (1 month shy of) 5 yrs let alone got any demand for it. I plan to get legal consult once I see the complaint but does she have a case? Not for the pension specifically but against me at all? Isn't there a statute of limitations? Or my agreement that I repay her? I detest that she has gone to court & didn't even bother to ask me first & it seems like there'd be protection from that.

1 Lawyer Answer
Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Freeeport, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Yes, there is a statute of limitations; it's four years assuming there is no written agreement. But the sentence "Or my agreement that I repay her?" raises a question; was there such an agreement? If not, you probably would not be obligated on the original claim anyway; you were not legally obligated to pay the funeral bill in the first place.

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