How do I obtain a copy of a Last Will from the state of Florida of which I have been named Executor.
4 attorney answers
As executor, you need to be in possession of the original Will that is in possession of her grandchildren. Once you have the original Will, you should hire an attorney to help you probate the Will.
Here is what the law says about appointment of personal representatives in Florida:
Any person who is sui juris and is a resident of Florida at the time of the death of the person whose estate is to be administered is qualified to act as personal representative in Florida.
A person who is not domiciled in the state cannot qualify as personal representative unless the person is:
(1) A legally adopted child or adoptive parent of the decedent;
(2) Related by lineal consanguinity to the decedent;
(3) A spouse or a brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, or niece of the decedent, or someone related by lineal consanguinity to any such person; or
(4) The spouse of a person otherwise qualified under this section.
If the person named as personal representative in the will is not qualified, letters shall be granted as per the following priority:
(a) In testate estates:
1. The personal representative, or his or her successor, nominated by the will or pursuant to a power conferred in the will.
2. The person selected by a majority in interest of the persons entitled to the estate.
3. A devisee under the will. If more than one devisee applies, the court may select the one best qualified.
Bottom line is: The grandchildren should open probate and file the original will with the court. At that point, this issue will be brought up and decided pursuant to the above quoted statutes.
Contact a Florida probate attorney to figure out what your next step is going to be. As Mr. Urba pointed out, you must be a Florida resident or related to the testator to serve as executor in this instance. Likely your friend did not know of this obstacle to her wishes.
The answers provided in this forum by me and transmitted by users of this forum are not to be considered legally binding in any way, nor is there an intent to form an attorney client relationship. If further information is required, seek competent legal counsel.
Whoever has custody of the Will must deposit it with the probate clerk in the decedent's county of domicile within 10 days of death. Florida does not permit serving as a Personal Representative (Executor) if you are not a Florida resident unless you are related by blood or marriage to the deceased. Contact a Florida probate attorney for details. Good luck.
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