Phoenix, AZ asked in Criminal Law, Probate and Elder Law for Florida

Q: I want to open probate on a will, the decedent passed away in 2012. The will was NEVER recorded & probate NEVER opened.

The direction....

Step #1 Appoint a PR and open probate. This is in Escambia Cty. Florida. A PR was named in the will but they were NEVER appointed & no letters of Admin. sent, but they DID collect/acquire, ALL estate assets. Yes, there are assets: $58K in bank accounts & cd's (4 or more were jointly held), a mortgage free property in Az.(value-$80K, back in 2012), life insurance policy(s), car, misc.

Step #2 REQUEST ALL records, bills, assets, proof of "what" went where and how much$$, etc., and what remains of the estate, from the named, but not appointed, "fake" PR.

Step #3a open probate OR

Step #3b sue the person (fake PR) for theft of estate assets, and for every penney they've got.

Is any of this criminal? I ask because I need to know the type of law I'm dealing with in order to find the right attorney. . . . .

Thank you

Fyi: I will be in Pensacola in July, possibly August, of 2020, and I have ALL the proof (documents) necessary to proceed.

2 Lawyer Answers
Cassidy V. Petersen
Cassidy V. Petersen
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Viera, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Good morning,

Thank you for reaching out to our office. At your convenience, please contact us at (321)729-0087 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss your questions further.

1 user found this answer helpful

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL

A: In Florida wills are not filed until the person passes. The person that has the original will is supposed to file it with the clerk 10 days after the person passes. Not all estates are probated just because there is a will. Bank accounts cannot be taken without court order unless they were held jointly with another person. Under Florida law the joint owner becomes the sole owner under Florida law. If the assets held in a trust then additional issues.

Technically a personal representative does not have authority unless appointed by the court. Technically any interested party can open an estate. If there is real property in another state an ancilliary administration will need to be opened in the other state. You will need to retain a probate attorney in Escambia county to assist you with this.

1 user found this answer helpful

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