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I have a question concerning wills and estate probate. I am…

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Good afternoon - I...

Good afternoon - I have a question concerning wills and estate probate. I am the oldest son with sister and brother. We all live in Florida but different cities and are not close (don't communicate). Both parents died in Florida. Both had wills. Sister handled mothers estate and brother handled fathers estate. I was never notified of the contents of either will nor how the estates were divided. How can I get a copy of each will and the estate disposition? Is this public record?

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

That I do not know

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Father dies 20 years ago and mother died 7 years ago

Submitted: 11 months ago.Category: Estate Law
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
8/16/2017
Estate Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 11 months ago
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 103,583
Experience: Fully licensed attorney in Texas in private practice.
Verified

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. You may also be offered a phone call, but those don’t come from me and are offered by the website and you are under no obligation to accept.

I am very sorry to hear about this situation. Please tell me:

1) Did she file for formal probate?

2) What county did your mother and father live in, and pass away in?

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
1) That I do not know for certain
2) Father lived in Jacksonville FL Mother in Boca Raton, FL
Estate Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 11 months ago

Thank you. When someone passes away, then their estate has to be distributed. The problem is that without probate - with assets such as titled property or bank accounts (those that do not have a pay on death clause) - this is hard to do. This is because you cannot switch over the assets without an order from the probate court, and simply a Certificate of Death will not do. A Certificate of Death simply states that someone has passed on, but does not give you the right to really do anything in the deceased's name.

So one files probate. Once probate is filed, the Executor of the estate gets something called a Letter of Testament/Administration (hereinafter "Letter"). This Letter will allow the Executor to switch over the assets from the deceased individual to whoever will own the property. It is like a "Power of Attorney," but from the Court. Without that Letter, there is no way to transfer titled property and switch the assets into the names of the beneficiaries.

If there was a Will, the beneficiaries are decided per the Will. If there was no will, the beneficiaries are decided by default succession law of the state.

Now, if she NEVER FILED for formal probate, then there is normally no record. Nothing has been filed.

If she DID file for probate, all that she has filed AND a copy of the WILL would then have been filed with the Court. And you can get a copy of it very quickly for a very nominal fee.

DUVAL COUNTY:(###) ###-####(ask for probate records)

PALM BEACH COUNTY: (561) 355-298 (ask for probate records)

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