Who Gets a Copy of My Will After I Pass Away?
The personal representative usually sends a copy of the will to each of the people or entities mentioned in it, but Florida law allows anyone who wants a copy of a will to request one from the court.
While you are alive, you should let your nominated fiduciaries know where to find your will. One of the first steps in probate is to submit the will to the probate court. While you are alive, you can keep the contents of your will a secret from everyone except the witnesses in whose presence you signed it; some people have been very surprised during probate when they found out that a recently deceased family member disinherited them or, conversely, left them much more money than they were expecting. To find out more, contact a St. Petersburg wills lawyer.
Who Receives a copy of the Will?
The following people will receive a copy of the will
- Personal representative of the estate – the person that the testator designates to make legal decisions on behalf of the estate during probate
- Beneficiaries – people listed in the will as recipients of assets belonging to the estate
- Testator’s Spouse – If the testator was married at the time of death, his or her spouse will be notified of the probate administration
- Heirs at Law – The Personal Representative should notify heirs and provide a copy of the will to the testator’s heirs-at-law, even if they were disinherited
What you write in your will is your choice. The personal representative and beneficiaries are usually family members, but you have the right to leave your property to anyone and to choose anyone to be the personal representative of your estate.
How Public Is Probate?
Once the personal representative submits the will to the probate court, it becomes a matter of public record. Anyone can request to see the will, although the copy that the court sends them might be redacted so that it does not reveal private information about the beneficiaries (such as their addresses or the specific amount of money that they will inherit). The personal representative should send a copy of the will to all the beneficiaries mentioned in it. If the personal representative knows of other close family members who were not listed in the will, he or she should also send a copy of the will to them.
Contact Kruse Law in St. Petersburg About Fulfilling Your Obligations as Testator or Personal Representative
A St. Petersburg wills lawyer can help you write a will or deal appropriately with a will that lists you as a beneficiary or as a personal representative of the estate. Contact Kruse Law in St. Petersburg, Florida to set up a consultation.