Fort Walton Beach, FL asked in Estate Planning for Florida

Q: In Florida .What happens with money in bank acct. When act holder dies and beneficiary is also deceased.

A widowed woman dies. She has written a will but the will was never notarized. Only relative alive is deceased sister husband. Can he collect the money

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2 Lawyer Answers
Katherine Schnauss Naugle
Katherine Schnauss Naugle
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: You will need to consult with a probate attorney as a small probate will need to be done.

Phillip William Gunthert agrees with this answer

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Orlando, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: If the will is not valid then the Florida Intestate Statutes (without a will) will be applied. There is no requirement in Florida for a Will to be notarized, the statutory requirements for a valid Will is listed below.

732.502 Execution of wills.—Every will must be in writing and executed as follows:

(1)(a) Testator’s signature.—

1. The testator must sign the will at the end; or

2. The testator’s name must be subscribed at the end of the will by some other person in the testator’s presence and by the testator’s direction.

(b) Witnesses.—The testator’s:

1. Signing, or

2. Acknowledgment:

a. That he or she has previously signed the will, or

b. That another person has subscribed the testator’s name to it,

must be in the presence of at least two attesting witnesses.

(c) Witnesses’ signatures.—The attesting witnesses must sign the will in the presence of the testator and in the presence of each other.

(2) Any will, other than a holographic or nuncupative will, executed by a nonresident of Florida, either before or after this law takes effect, is valid as a will in this state if valid under the laws of the state or country where the will was executed. A will in the testator’s handwriting that has been executed in accordance with subsection (1) shall not be considered a holographic will.

(3) Any will executed as a military testamentary instrument in accordance with 10 U.S.C. s. 1044d, Chapter 53, by a person who is eligible for military legal assistance is valid as a will in this state.

(4) No particular form of words is necessary to the validity of a will if it is executed with the formalities required by law.

(5) A codicil shall be executed with the same formalities as a will.

History.—s. 1, ch. 74-106; s. 21, ch. 75-220; s. 11, ch. 77-87; s. 961, ch. 97-102; s. 42, ch. 2001-226; s. 5, ch. 2003-154.

The Will should be copied and then submitted to the clerk of the court in the county where the person lived. I would encourage you to contact a Florida Probate Attorney as well to see what type of probate, if any would be applicable, the type of probate will depend on the value of the estate. If it is a small estate, Summary Administration or even Disposition of Property without Administration me be applicable and can be used.

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