1-561-514-0900 FREE CONSULTATION

Lost or Destroyed Will Florida

Probate Information • Apr 13, 2021
post about Lost or Destroyed Will Florida

Lost wills are gone forever, right? Not so fast. How in the world can you probate a will if it is lost or destroyed? Well, believe it or not, there is a mechanism for Florida probates to do just that. But the rules are tricky and you need to jump through all the hoops. We have previously provided steps, tips and rules for probating a Lost Will Florida. Now, let’s go one step further. Here’s what you need to know in plain-English about a Lost or Destroyed Will Florida.

Lost or destroyed will Florida. Proving it up requires a trial.

Step by Step

Most people don’t believe that you can have a will that was lost or destroyed admitted to probate. But you can. You have to first understand the rules and procedure. Next, you have to get in touch with disinterested witnesses about the will. Finally, you have to “prove it up” so to speak. What does that mean? It means that you have to reveal the terms of the trust. With precision. It today’s world with emails, .pdf’s, electronic copies and scanners, that is not as hard as it may sound. After all, doesn’t everybody scan and save documents? Truth be told, proving up a lost or destroyed will Florida is a lot more challenging than, for example, a contract. But that’s what great probate lawyers in Florida are for, right? Oh yes, don’t forget about the presumption. In Florida Probate Law, there is a presumption that the will was destroyed. If the will was last in the possession of the will maker (the deceased Florida resident), and it can’t be found. There’s a legal presumption that it was destroyed. As the proponent of a lost or destroyed will Florida, it’s your job to file a Petition and prove it. Here are some things you will want to read to help you along the way.

Probate Rules, Laws and Opinions

The Florida Probate Code is different than the Florida Probate Rules. Read both! Why? There is a specific statute on lost or destroyed wills at Fla. Stat. 733.207. You, or your Florida probate lawyer, better know it cold. Second, read Florida Probate Rule 5.510. That is a specific rule on such a proceeding. And remember that presumption that we talked about? A presumption is a concept of Florida Evidence Law. Your probate lawyer better be used to handling real trials. Not just going to court all the time. What is the Burden of Proof to get that lost or destroyed will declared valid? Need to know it cold. Shifting burdens? Better understand that trial concept. Here is the Florida Evidence Code law on presumptions. Read Fla. Stat. 90.301 – 90.304. Finally, get some insight from Florida’s Appellate Courts. You can read a case called Smith v. DeParry. This probate opinion is from Florida’s 2nd District Court of Appeal. It sets forth the procedure and standards or proving up the will.