Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Florida

do you have to file a will at the county or state level in Florida

Asked on 7/05/13, 8:14 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

William Gwaltney William W. Gwaltney, Attorneys at Law

A will is not placed on file with the county or state prior to the death of the person (nor should it be). Once a person with a will passes, then typically a probate should be opened, and the will then becomes part of the court proceeding.

When someone prepares a will it is best if they keep the original will in a safe location and not produce copies for people to review. They should inform someone whom they trust where the will is located, and make sure that person or someone has access to the location.

The court requires the original will be presented when the probate is opened, so the presence of copies can get really confusing. Especially if the deceased changed their will prior to death.

Hope this helps.

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Answered on 7/05/13, 8:34 am

Ronald Jones Ronald A. Jones, PA

Will is supposed to be filed with clerk of court in the county in which the decedent was resident within ten days of the individual who has possession of the will finding out that the testator is deceased. Probate cases are brought at county level in Circuit court for that county. See Florida Statute 732.901

732.901 Production of wills.—

(1) The custodian of a will must deposit the will with the clerk of the court having venue of the estate of the decedent within 10 days after receiving information that the testator is dead. The custodian must supply the testator’s date of death or social security number to the clerk upon deposit.

(2) Upon petition and notice, the custodian of any will may be compelled to produce and deposit the will as provided in subsection (1). All costs, damages, and a reasonable attorney’s fee shall be adjudged to petitioner against the delinquent custodian if the court finds that the custodian had no just or reasonable cause for failing to deposit the will.

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Answered on 7/05/13, 8:51 am
Barry Stein De Cardenas, Freixas, Stein & Zachary

No pre-death filing of a will only after death as described above.

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Answered on 7/05/13, 8:56 am

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