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RayAnswers, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 42869
Experience:  Texas lawyer for 30 years in Estate law
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My Mom passed away several years ago, and her husband, my

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My Mom passed away several years ago, and her husband, my stepdad, just passed away last week. The will our parents left said to sell their house in Florida, and to sell their trailer park in Kentucky and divide the money. (It was all owned in my stepdad's name, not in a corporation.) My oldest stepsister is named executor of the will, and when she went to file at the courthouse this morning, she was told " Since your dad had a business and assets in just his name, you have to get an attorney even to deposit the will." They also said "We might have to file the will in Kentucky, as well." In looking up the definition of "deposit the will" (safely and privately store a will until someone's death) that doesn't seem to be something we need to do, since he's already passed away. In handling my husband's parents' estate in another state, we simply had to take the will to the courthouse and swear my husband in as executor, then sold the house. We would really appreciate your advice as to what she has to do to file the will/probate, and be able to sell the properties. Thank you, ***** *****

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question, conduct and prepare your response.

Your step sister would need to make application to probate the will and walk the application in with the will.She will need a lawyer here,Florida does not allow pro se applications.The lawyer makes application with the will and a notice is posted.There is a hearing scheduled to admit the will and appoint her personal representative here in Florida.Florida allows lawyers to charge a percentage of the value of the estate.

Here she would meet with lawyer and give him original will, she should make a copy of it just in case.


A second ancillary probate will need to be filed in Kentucky if they have property there, a Kentucky court would oversee that.The Florida lawyer can help her locate a Kentucky lawyer for that part.

Here are the statutory lawyer fees:

  • Value of estate up to $40,000: $1,500.
  • $40,000 to $70,000: $2,250.
  • $70,000 to $100,000: $3,000.
  • $100,000 to $1 million: $3,000, plus 3% of the value over $100,000.
  • $1 million to $3 million: $30,000, plus 2.5% of the value over $1 million.

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Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Thank you so much for your answer. In small estates, does she have to file probate? The will was simple, it named my sister as Personal Representative, instructed her to pay his final bills, and to sell the property and divide it amongst the children.Does this paragraph allow her to sell the property and not file probate?
"I nominate and appoint as my Personal Representative, my daughter, XXXXXXXX XXXXXX, to serve without bond. ln the event XXXXX XXXXXXXis unable or unwilling to so serve, then I appoint my stepdaughter,
XXXX XXXXXXX, as my Personal Representative, to serve without
bond. My Personal Representative is authorized to sell any of my property, real or
personal, at public or private sale, with or without notice, and without any order of
court authorizing, approving, or confirming said sales and on such terms as may
be desired."

No she has to probate the will, the will here could be invalid for many reasons, executed wrong, lack of capacity, undue influence, there could be a will contest field thats why court has to admit it or not.

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