Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Florida

Right to know?

My dad pasted away in May or June

2005. I have heard from family that

he had two life insurance policies.

One was purchased with my mother

in the early 1980''s. The second was

later with his second wife. Other

than attending his funeral. I have

not seen or heard if there was a will,

and if I was to be left anything. His

second wife and my mother have

been elusive when I've talked to

them about it. I know my mother

received one life insurance payout.

I'm told from family it was a

$108,000 payout. I had received a

check in Feb 2006 for $5000. Since

this time, there has been very little

information exchanged. Being his

child, do I have the right to request a

copy of his will? Have I waited too

long to make an issue of this? His

last residence was in Florida. My

mothers residence is in Vermont. A

service was held in Methuen, MA.

Any help would be appriciated.

Asked on 8/12/07, 6:55 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Scott R. Jay Law Offices of Scott R. Jay

Re: Right to know?

NOTE: This communication is not intended as and should not be interpreted as legal advice. Rather, it is intended solely as a general discussion of legal principles. You should not rely on or take action based on this communication without first presenting ALL relevant details to a competent attorney in your jurisdiction and then receiving the attorney's individualized advice for you. By reading the "Response" to your question or comment, you agree that the opinion expressed is not intended to, nor does it, create any attorney-client relationship, nor does it constitute legal advice to any person reviewing such information, nor will it be considered an attorney-client privileged communication. If you do not agree, then stop right here, and do not read any further.

You do have a right to ask but the second wife does not have to show you the will. Wills are supposed to be filed with the probate court in the county in which the party died within a set period after death. Generally, this only happens if there is a probatable estate. Even then, the wills are not part of the file available to the general public. You can check the probate court in the county in which your father lived to see if an estate was ever filed.

Often times, everything is held in joint names with a spouse so an estate is not necessary as everything is owned by the surviving tenant.

Insurance proceeds are paid to the named beneficiary outside of the estate so this will not be reflected in any court records. If the insurance policies were the only assets then there is no need to file an estate.

Scott R. Jay, Esq.

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Answered on 8/13/07, 9:30 am

robert roemer Robert Roemer & Associates,P.A.

Re: Right to know?

The life insurance usually has a beneficiary (wife)? In order to research whether an estate was opened in florida I

would need to know your dads name and his residence at time of his death.Send me an e-mail with a phone # to contact you to discuss.

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Answered on 8/12/07, 7:56 pm
David Slater David P. Slater, Esq.

Re: Right to know?

If he had a will and it was probated, it will be on file in court, in the county he lived in at his death.

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Answered on 8/12/07, 9:40 pm

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