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We just went for the reading of my mother's will, however, the lawyer NEVER read the will! Wasn't he supposed to???

Port Orange, FL |

Both my parents had this lawyer for their wills etc. My Dad passed away this past October (2012), after which, my Mom went and made changes to the aforementioned will. One of my sisters(executor), my brother and myself went last week for the reading of the will (she passed away 6/5/13). All he did was tell us he would be dealing with my sister only(primarily), which is OK, and to get all of her assets together and bring them to him. Her checking acct was also in my brother's name so it's not part of probate, however, he WANTS the statement from the bank as well!!! Is this normal ? Please help because something just doesn't feel particularly right here. My parents had very little, a home and small investments. I'd HATE to see this guy eat it all up with fees! Please help us?! Thank you!

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

My condolences on your losses, and for the stress and anxiety of dealing with the probate. The "reading of the will" is TV drama. It is rare as a legal procedure. You are, however, entitled to a copy of both wills. It may be true that your sister was nominated as personal representative in your mother's will. If so, she will be the primary person working with the attorney, but she will have obligations under your state's probate code to provide certain information to you. If your request for a copy of the wills is denied, your needs may be bet met by retaining your own attorney.

Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.

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Posted

There is no "reading of the will". You can ask for a copy and read it yourself. If the asset was not subject to probate like the joint bank account with your brother, he would have no right to the information unless he feels that something was done incorrectly. If that is the cases, he can request the information through a probate case once one is opened and a personal representative is appointed by the court.

My comments are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship, are not confidential, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Proper legal advice can only be given by an attorney who agrees to represent you, who reviews the facts of your specific case, who does not have a conflict of interest preventing the representation, and who is licensed as an attorney in the state where the law applies.

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Posted

There is no requirement that the Will be read officially to everyone concerned. As the other attorney mentioned, this is just something that is dramatized on television. You are entitled to a copy of the Will and as a beneficiary you are entitled to receive copies of everything the Personal Representative files in reference to the Will. The checking account should pass outside of probate and if the attorney does not think so I would require him to give you a good reason for his position. If you don't agree with him, make him obtain the records with permission of the Court through probate. Good Luck.

Sincerely,
B. Elaine Jones, Esq.

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Posted

I won't rehash what my colleagues have already pointed out, but if you sister is PR, she will be dealing with an attorney. There is no requirement that your mom's attorney be the one used for probate, and it is very important that your sister be comfortable with whomever she chooses to do probate. However, the fees will only go up if the attorney has to field questions from family members. The attorney has probably already discussed with your sister the process for doing probate, what fees to expect and what is required of her in the administration of the estate. If your sister has an issue, then she should ask him about it - otherwise, it is best to let him do his job.

Carol Johnson Law Firm, P.A. : (727) 647-6645 : carol@caroljohnsonlaw.com : Wills, Trusts, Real Property, Probate, Special Needs: Information provided here is anecdotal and should not be relied upon or considered legal advice. Every matter is different and answers given here are general in nature and may not reflect current Florida law at the time you are reading this posting. Please contact me if you feel you need additional assistance with your matter.

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