Speaking only from experience with similar situations in Texas, you might have the option of asking for the assistance of a probate court. In Texas, an interested party may request that the court compel a person in possession of a Will deliver and deposit the same with the appropriate county clerk. Even then, that may be the end of the road, as there is no requirement that the person depositing the Will take any other action, such as file an application that the document be admitted to probate. Still, the procedure is often useful for at least bringing the document forward.
Contact an attorney in the state and county where your mother resided at the time of her death and ask if a similar procedure may be available.
This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted to practice law in the State of Texas only, and make no attempt to opine on matters of law that are not relevant to Texas. This answer is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation, and is for promotional purposes only. You should not rely on this answer alone and nothing in these communications creates an attorney-client relationship.
In Florida, the decedents original Will must be filed in the clerk of the courts office in the county of decedents FL residence. When that is done anyone can go to the clerk’s offices and see it and even request a copy f it for $1 per page copy fee. I don’t immediately recognize “LA” county in Florida, although I see your question originating from Florida, similar laws may be present in other states.
See an elder law attorney since this subject can be complex and other issues are created that you might require further information. My website below may have articles that may further be of interest to you on this subject. If you think this post was helpful, please check the thumbs up (helpful) tab below. Thank you!
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.
Dan W. Armstrong, Attorney
Law Offices of Dan W. Armstrong, P.A.
P.O. Box 1535
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32004-2479
(O) 904.280.0058, (F) 904.280.0109
You mention LA County, I can only assume that you mean California, as there is no LA County Florida. Probate laws vary from state to state, and you should contact an attorney there to discuss the specifics or your situation.