Wills need to be deposited with the court within 10 days of death. Florida Statutes, Section 732.901. A Jacksonville custodian of a will must deposit the will with the appropriate clerk of court within 10 days after receiving information that the testator (person whose will it was) is dead. If the will has not been timely deposited, any interested person may upon petition and notice compel the production of the will, and receive attorney fees, costs and damages against the delinquent custodian.
A Florida judge recently entered an order requiring a custodian of a will to produce the will. The judge then entered an award of $2500.00 in attorney’s fees against the custodian who had failed to produce the will.
The 4th district court of Florida reversed the order, stating it was error by the circuit court to enter an order requiring production of a will and assessing attorney fees against the custodian of the will, without a hearing or proof that the petition to produce the will had actually been received by the custodian of the will. As the order was entered without due process the district court set it aside and remanded the case back to the circuit court.
When someone has died it is important to consult with a Jacksonville Estate Planning Attorney to discuss the probate laws and rules that govern. Knowing your legal rights and responsibilities is beneficial as you begin the probate administration process.