What are aperson’s rights if their father passed away 8 years ago and no Will was filed?

My brother’s mother passed. When I called the surrogate courts I was told that he could file up to 20 years? How can I get a copy of the Will or living Trust?

Asked on February 26, 2013 under Estate Planning, Colorado


Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Courts do not regularly receive wills and certainly not trusts.  In Florida, a person can file his or her will with the Probate Court but is not required to do so.  In Florida, the person who possesses the will must file it within 10 days of death but people seldom comply with this.  Thus, the only practical way to find a will or trust is to find the person who has it or the lawyer who prepared it.

If the mother passed away 8 years ago and left assets to be distributed, I would expect your brother to have received notice long before this.  A person's assets cannot be distributed unless the executor of the estate, or trustee of the trust, follows procedures.  Those procedures would include contacting the son if the son had any interest in the assets.


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