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David Kennett
David Kennett, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years practicing attorney
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how can I find out if a will has been filed . it relates to

Resolved Question:

how can I find out if a will has been filed . it relates to a sudden death involving a car accident in west palm beach florida, and the family has no idea if a will has been filled what should they do?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  David Kennett replied 5 years ago.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?
How are you related to the deceased?

Is there someone who would have filed the will or opened an estate other than family members?

Do you know if a will existed or who may have prepared it?


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
i am the girlfriend of his brother. he spoke at one time of preparing a will to his brother and we found a how too book but we have found no paper work in the home to indicate if he had a will. we are very confussed and do not know how to handle his estate. he had prpoerty in tennessee that he had purchased recently and that was being finaced. he has and has several storage facilities and his brother does not have power of attouney to obtain money out of his checking account to handle burial arrangements.
Expert:  David Kennett replied 5 years ago.
Dear JACUSTOMER - A power of attorney is no good after death so it wouldn't matter if there had been one. Wills are not typically filed until after death so if you cannot find one in the personal effects of the deceased it is likely there is no will. The only other place you could check would be the probate court in the county where the deceased resided to see if he might have filed a will of record but most people do not do that. So assuming there is no will the estate will have to be opened on an intestate basis and distributed to the next of kin. I'm not certain how many relatives there may be but the general order of succession is to the wife and children, then parents and then siblings. So if his brother has any of the above that would inherit ahead of siblings then there's no point in your boyfriend doing anything since he would receive nothing. If he is the first in line then he can apply at the local probate court to be the administrator or personal representative of the estate which would give him completely control over the estate and allow him access to bank accounts and other property. The land in TN would have to go through an ancillary estate in TN so he may need a TN attorney to handle that aspect of the process. He can do his own estate work in FL but the court will not offer any legal assistance so there may be a need for FL attorney as well since this can get complicated. Nothing can be done with any of the assets until someone is appointed by the probate court to be in charge of the estate.
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