Three weeks after her mother dies, paperwork finally signed so Tampa family can have funeral

Better Call Behnken

Family now planning two funerals; one in Florida and one in Chicago

SEMINOLE, Fla. (WFLA) – Three weeks after her mother passed away, Penny Hart can now finally put her to rest and have a funeral. This is after she turned to Better Call Behnken for help getting the right signatures on the death certificate.

“I’m just glad that you were here for us,” Hart said. “We appreciate it, everything that you did for us.”

The family’s grief was prolonged because no one would give them answers about signing off on the death certificate so the funeral home could proceed with arrangements.

“I find it really appalling that you have to have your loved one waiting in refrigeration for that long,” Hart said.

Darlene Raff died on Jan. 12, but for some reason there was no signed death certificate, meaning Hart couldn’t move forward with a funeral.

Investigator Shannon Behnken called the doctor, the funeral home and even went to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Hillsborough County.

Officials there said the certificate had just been electronically signed by Raff’s doctor, and they acted quickly to process the certificate so the funeral home can now move forward.

“You want to be able to move on, and you want to be able to say your goodbyes,” Hart said. “It’s just really important and you want to be able to grieve. So I think we’re actually at that point now where we can actually start saying our goodbyes.”

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