Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Florida

My brother is the executor of a will left by my mother. Cash, 10 acres of undeveloped land, and the remaining contents of my mother's home (including silver and jewelry) are to be distributed. The executor has stated the cash is about $200,000. I am to receive 25% of the entire estate, my brother (the executor) is to receive 25%, one other brother is to receive 25%, and two nieces are to equally split the final 25%. The executor told me a month ago that whatever needed to go through probate, has successfully gone through. He is no longer communicating with us, and it's been three months since our mother passed. Does Florida law give the executor unlimited time to execute the will? Since I'm named as a beneficiary am I entitled to a copy of it?

Asked on 8/30/13, 9:27 am

4 Answers from Attorneys

Barry Stein De Cardenas, Freixas, Stein & Zachary

No unlimited period of time given. It usually takes about a year to two depending on what assets are there and what efforts need to be made. Three months is not a delay at all. Publication allows creditors to file claim within 90 days of the publication period. That likely has not or is close to expiring. You are entitled to copies of the accounting, inventory and any distribution information .You should contact the attorney representing him and make it clear what you want. No executors in Florida only personal representatives.

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Answered on 8/30/13, 9:38 am

3 months is not very much time for probate, so the estate is probably still in the middle of administration proceedings. Creditors may still need to be paid, etc. The will should have been deposited in the county court where your mother resided at the time of her death. The will becomes public record so you can get a copy from the court. If you truly are a beneficiary I would contact a probate attorney to ensure your rights are protected. The attorney handling the estate represents the Personal Representative (executor), not you.

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Answered on 8/31/13, 5:51 pm
Dean Bress Bress Law Firm

I am not sure why the executor is not responding to your request because it does (by not responding) is make you more concerned. You are entitled to a copy of the Will because you are a person who would inherit if there were no Will. If you have no reason to be concerned except for the three months of delay, I would give the matter more time; if something else is involved, then you might want to contact an attorney.

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Answered on 9/01/13, 12:14 am
David Slater David P. Slater, Esq.

You can obtain copies of everything from the court.

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Answered on 9/04/13, 10:48 am

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