From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My mother became ill and came to my house in Bucks County. Two weeks later, she died. In the rush to get things done, I didn’t notice that the funeral director mistakenly put Bucks County as her residence rather than Collier County, Florida. Her will gives everything to me, does it matter if I file the will in Bucks County? How do I correct the death certificate?
The county listed on the death certificate does matter, as the Register of Wills of Bucks County and the Surrogate in Collier County will use the death certificate as proof of what County your mother resided in at death. This matters to you because if she was a resident of Collier County, Florida, there is no Inheritance Tax. If she was a resident of Bucks County, there is a 4.5% Inheritance Tax on what you inherit (excluding her Florida real estate).
If the funeral director has already turned the death certificate over to the Department of Vital Records, you will have to work with them to have the certificate corrected. They are reasonable people, but they will want information proving that your mother was really a Florida resident.
If you have any other questions about probate in Bucks County or probate in Florida, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation.