To bring a man back to life who had falsely been listed as legally dead for 29 years did not take magic, but it did take the intervention of a U.S. Senator.
The U.S. government maintains a "Master Death File" of everyone who passes away in the U.S. When government agencies learn of someone's death, they record the information in the file to make sure any payments, such as Social Security, do not continue to be paid. It is not a perfect system as Adam Ronning can attest.
When he was four years old, he was erroneously placed on the list of the deceased. For 29 years, he was unsuccessful in getting the IRS to recognize that he was in fact alive. However, through the intervention of Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobucher, he has now legally been brought back to life.
The story is reported by CBS News in "Living man declared dead by IRS for 29 years resurrected by U.S. Senator."
What happened to Ronning is not unique, but it is relatively uncommon.
Every year approximately 9,000 people are wrongly added to the master death file, which is a tiny percentage of people in a nation with over 300 million citizens. Most names erroneously placed on the list are the result of clerical errors, not any malicious intent.
However, despite the small numbers of people who are affected, it is still a big enough problem that more care should be taken to avoid these errors.
If you (or someone you know) is wrongly placed on the list, it is important to address the issue as soon as possible. It can affect your ability to receive government retirement benefits.
For more information about glitches in your benefits and estate planning in Orlando, FL (and throughout the rest of Central Florida), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: CBS News (May 10, 2017) "Living man declared dead by IRS for 29 years resurrected by U.S. Senator."