Pensacola, FL asked in Probate for Florida

Q: Can I file probate papers without an attorney in Florida.

My brother died without a will. All he had was a house he bought in 2015 for $37,000 with the owner financing $32,000. He was never married, no children, parents both deceased, and 4 siblings living. He bought the house where him and one disabled brother could live. It was agreed that I would get the house and take care of my disabled brother if anything happened to him. The other two brothers knew this and are in agreement. I do not have the money to hire an attorney for probate. Is there any way I can do all the footwork. I have tried to find legal aid but they all say they do not do probate cases.

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5 Lawyer Answers
Gregory Herman-Giddens
Gregory Herman-Giddens
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Naples, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: In Florida, a attorney is required for probate matters. Best wishes in getting the probate completed.

Jennifer Isaksen
Jennifer Isaksen
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Bushnell, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: I agree with Attorney Herman-Giddens, you will need to hire an attorney to file the probate. Because there was no Will, all of the siblings would inherit, so they would all have to disclaim their interest for you to inherit the entire property. If the home is the only asset, the probate will not cost that much. Perhaps you can get some help from a relative to make it happen for you.

Andy Wayne Williamson
Andy Wayne Williamson
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Santa Rosa Beach, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: I agree with my colleagues that you will need to have an attorney to assist you, most likely. Where did you brother live when he died?

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Gainesville, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: You can file for Summary Administration in Florida without an attorney, but to have everything prepared and filed properly, I strongly encourage you to hire an attorney. It may not be as expensive as you might think to open summary administration to transfer homestead only. The home will be transferred with a court order to the surviving siblings unless the two siblings disclaim within 6 months from the date of death. After that time, the court will sign an order naming all four, and then two would have to sign a quitclaim deed to the remaining two to transfer their interests. An experienced probate/real estate attorney should be able to handle this for you for a reasonable fee.

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Freeeport, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Specifically, RULE 5.030. ATTORNEYS of the Florida Probate Rules provides as follows:

"(a) Required; Exception. Every guardian and every personal representative, unless the personal representative remains the sole interested person, shall be represented by an attorney admitted to practice in Florida. ...".

The OP would not be the "sole interested person", because the siblings, and other possible heirs would be "interested".

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