What to do if I have a handwritten Will that is stamped by a notary but have no idea what to do to proceed with the process?

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What to do if I have a handwritten Will that is stamped by a notary but have no idea what to do to proceed with the process?

I was left property and belongings, bank accounts, etc. Also, I was asked to oversee to his cremation, which is not stated in the Will. I am his ex-wife and live in another state and am in a wheelchair; I have Spina Bifida and need to do this long distance. Can you please advise on what things I need to do.

Asked on February 26, 2018 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  So handwritten Wills are legal in the state of FLorida so long as they also follow the state rules for a valid Will (generally signed at the botto with two witnesses present to vouch for that).  You list Florida here as the state so I am assuming that is the legal residence of your friend.  So you should really contact an attorney in FLorida to help you (in the county in which he resided at the time of his death).  You will need to file a Petition in the Probate Court with the Will, gather his assets and maybe even file tax returns (but maybe not).  I am going to give you a link to the FLorida Bar Association to help with the basics.  They are good to call for https://www.floridabar.org/public/consumer/pamphlet026/a referral.  Good luck.
 


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