How do I obtain a letter of testamentary?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How do I obtain a letter of testamentary?

I would like to know how can obtain a letter of testamentary to show that I am the personal representative and executor of my deceased mother’s estate. She technically didn’t leave an ‘estate’, no real estate or financial accounts. Therefore, when she passed away, probate was not necessary. I recently wanted a copy of her medical records for my records and I can not get them unless I provide a letter of testamentary showing I am her legal personal representative. How can I obtain this without starting probate?

Thank you,
John Cunningham

Asked on November 12, 2017 under Estate Planning, Florida


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking,  states allow you to apply for Limited Letters Testamentary for certain purposes.  You can go to the Probate Court and let them know you wish to obtain same and they generally give you the forms.  If you think you need them for a lawsuit in the future you may need to be fully appointed.  I would seek consultation before you start.  Good luck. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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