We often get calls from clients stating that they believe they are included in the will of a father, mother, or any decedent but have been unable to obtain a copy of the will to verify their thoughts. It is important to understand that just because you are included in a will, it does not mean you will receive what the will states. Often a parent has remarried and the Florida Will only transfers assets that are subject to probate. If all of the assets are jointly owned with their new spouse, there is nothing to pass through probate.
This concept is hard for people to understand and even harder when an unfriendly step-parent is involved. Regardless, many people still want to see their parents Florida Will. Generally we will send the custodian of the will a letter informing them of their obligation under Florida law to file the will within 10 days. If they refuse to do so, you have three choices:
1) do nothing or wait until they comply;
2) file a lawsuit asking that the court direct the custodian of the will to deposit it and reimburse you for your costs; or 3) open a probate and ask the court to order the custodian of the will to deposit it and reimburse your for your costs.
Jacksonville Probate Lawyer, David Goldman has put together a Florida Probate Handbook that is being offered free to readers and visitors of his websites. If you would like a copy, visit the Free Florida Probate Handbook web page, fill out the form, and one will be sent to you within 24 hours by email.