My grandfather passed away 5 months ago and I have recently received a letter from an attorney asking me to sign a waiver of notice of probate will. I am unsure exactly what this form entails and have made numerous requests to the attorney on record who sent the waiver requesting a copy of my grandfather's will, and was told that I am not legally able to access his will?? This form was sent to my uncle, brother and I ( My dad has been deceased for a year). It is my understanding that I should have legal access to the will since I am being notified as a next of kin? I have spoke to my grandmother and my uncle who are telling me this form is incorrect and since my grandmother recently changed her will, I am just being notified that I am now listed in her will!
I have also contacted the probate court in the county in which my grandfather passed and the will has not yet been filed and is not on record at the probate office. Also, my uncle is the executor of my grandfather's estate, who in my understanding is the person who notifies beneficiaries. When asked if he had a copy of the will, I was told he burnt it?!
Estate Planning Attorney
If this matter involved a potential probate estate in Florida, then they are asking you to waive certain rights they are suggesting that you have. I would not suggest to anyone that they waive rights unless they are fully informed as to those rights. You may tell the attorney that you will not sign the waiver and that you do want notice and you do want all that you would be entitled to receive as an interested party. Whether you are an interested party is not clear to me without further information, but you can still tell him that.
When a will is filed for probate all the next of kin are required to be legally notified or to sign a waiver of notification. You have a right to see the document of which you are being asked to waive notification. If you are being denied the right to see a copy of the will, you may have to engage an attorney who will help you get past an uncooperative attorney for the executor. It is important to note that you have three months to contest the will once it is admitted to probate.
Please seek competent legal advice. This advice does not create an attorney-client relationship.
The Will will have to be filed with the Probate Court eventually. The attorney is trying to expedite the process by having persons entitled to notice waive the receipt of that notice.
Absent the waivers from every person (statutory next of kin, beneficiaries under the Will, etc.) the atorney will hev no option but to file the Will and then send out the required notice to the non-waiving individuals. At that time you can access the Court's file (it is completely public) and make a copy of the Will if you choose. This is the best way to obtaina reliable copy of the Will
Alternatively, you can advise the attorney that if you receive a copy of the Will, you will sign and return the Waiver. Signing the Waiver of Notice will not waive your right to contest the Will. Once all notices have been given or waived, the Executor shall file a Certificate of Service. The three-month period within which to file a contest of the Will begins to run the day that Certificate is filed.
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