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How to File a Will in Broward County, Florida
When filing a Will in Broward County, which must be done within (10) ten days after receiving information of the decedent's death, you should mail an original copy of the will and an original copy of the death certificate to:
Broward County Courthouse
201 S.E. 6th Street, Room 252
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301
If you would like a receipt, the clerk asks that you enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope and put in writing that you would like a receipt. If you prefer, the Will can be e-filed, however an attorney has to do so on your behalf.
What Does Florida Probate Law Say About Filing a Will?
732.901 Production of wills.—
(1) The custodian of a will must deposit the will with the clerk of the court having venue of the estate of the decedent within 10 days after receiving information that the testator is dead. The custodian must supply the testator’s date of death or the last four digits of the testator’s social security number to the clerk upon deposit.
(2) Upon petition and notice, the custodian of any will may be compelled to produce and deposit the will. All costs, damages, and a reasonable attorney’s fee shall be adjudged to petitioner against the delinquent custodian if the court finds that the custodian had no just or reasonable cause for failing to deposit the will.
(3) An original will submitted to the clerk with a petition or other pleading is deemed to have been deposited with the clerk.
(4) Upon receipt, the clerk shall retain and preserve the original will in its original form for at least 20 years. If the probate of a will is initiated, the original will may be maintained by the clerk with the other pleadings during the pendency of the proceedings, but the will must at all times be retained in its original form for the remainder of the 20-year period whether or not the will is admitted to probate or the proceedings are terminated. Transforming and storing a will on film, microfilm, magnetic, electronic, optical, or other substitute media or recording a will onto an electronic recordkeeping system, whether or not in accordance with the standards adopted by the Supreme Court of Florida, or permanently recording a will does not eliminate the requirement to preserve the original will.
(5) For purposes of this section, the term “will” includes a separate writing as described in s. 732.515.
What Are The Next Steps To Take After A Loved One Dies?
After contacting a funeral home, someone should contact the social security administration to let them know of the person's death in order to cease paying benefits (usually, the funeral home will take care of this for you). Additionally, someone should take possession of of the decedent's credit cards, driver’s license, bills, bank account statements and possibly have the decedent's mailed forwarded. Other suggestions include, gathering tax returns and insurance policies.
More Probate Links of Interest:
Would You Like to Learn More?
For those visitors and clients who would like more information about probate, we have provided additional resources for you to read and review. That information includes a discussion of the Florida probate process, and for those interested in learning more about Broward County Probate, we have prepared a supplemental summary on that topic as well. Additionally, please feel free to read our blog, About Florida Probate. It addresses some of the most frequently asked questions about the Florida probate process.
To learn more from Larry and to see all of the probate matters he can help with, read his Probate Lawyer page.
Larry handles Probate matters for clients located in Hallandale, Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Weston, Davie, Dania Beach and all other cities in Broward County and all throughout Florida.
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