FAQ: Circuit Civil
Probate of estates
Probate of Estates - (561) 355-2986
When and where should a will be filed?
The executor of the estate should deposit the will with the Clerk & Comptroller’s office in the county where the decedent is domiciled within ten (10) days after receiving information that the person is deceased. Domicile is the place where a person has his/her permanent principal home. The executor should supply the person’s date of death to the Clerk, if this information is available.
Do you need an attorney to deposit a will with the Clerk & Comptroller’s office?
No. An attorney is not required. However, legal advice from an attorney can help you determine whether probate proceedings are required.
Who gets your money if you do not leave a will?
When someone dies without being survived by any heirs or entitled claimants, their estate will escheat (revert) to the state.
Where should probate be filed?
The venue (the proper or most convenient location for trial) for probate of wills and granting of letters is:
- In the county where the decedent was domiciled
- If decedent had no domicile in this state, then in any county where the decedent’s property is located
- If the decedent had no domicile in this state and possessed no property in this state, then in the county where any debtor of the decedent resides
Does the Clerk & Comptroller provide forms to file for probate?
The Clerk only provides the probate form for a Disposition for Personal Property without Administration, also known as a small estate. However, forms for a Summary Administration can be found at the law library in the central courthouse.
Do I need an attorney to file probate?
A "Disposition of Personal Property without Administration" and a "Summary Administration" can be filed pro se (yourself). A "Formal Administration" requires legal representation.
I have a claim against a decedent’s (deceased) estate. How do I collect?
Claim forms are available from the Clerk and Comptroller’s office and must be filed in duplicate within three (3) months from the date of the publication of the "Notice of Administration/Notice to Creditors". There is no filing fee.
If I need to publish a Notice of Creditors, Notice of Administration, or Notice of Action, what publication should I use?
The Clerk & Comptroller suggests that you follow Chapter 50 of the Florida Statutes when choosing a publication.