What can be done without waiting for probate approval?

Obtain death certificates. The funeral home or cremation society will order these.

There are 2 types of death certificates. Typically, estates may need to request two to ten death certificates.

Florida has two types of death certificates. A 8.5 X 14 legal size “long” death certificate with cause of death will be needed for each insurance policy. For most other purposes, the 8.5 X 11 “short” death certificate without cause of death is required for each tangible and intangible asset (real estate, brokerage accounts, stock transfer agent documentation, and so on) that you desire to ultimately sell or transfer.

A simple copy of the death certificate is not sufficient; it must be a certified original. In Sarasota and Manatee Counties in Florida, certified copies of the death certificate are seldom available until about three to seven days after the death of an individual.

When making funeral or cremation arrangements, you can order the death certificates directly from the funeral home or cremation society.

Notify Life Insurance Companies.
The Attorney, Personal representative, successor trustee, or beneficiary should check to be sure that each of the life insurance companies has been notified of the death of the insured. Each insurance company will require a certified long death certificate, along with signatures and information from each beneficiary. Note that insurance companies do not issue checks to minors, therefore minor children should not be names as beneficiaries of life insurance policies. For folks who have life insurance for the purpose of providing for minors, there should be a Will or Trust to state details about how to supervise funds for care of the minors.