What do I do with a Last Will & Testament? How can I file for probate & what forms are available? What are the filing fees for probate cases? Can I file a disposition of personal property for an asset located in another country? Can I be appointed as Personal Representative on an estate? Can I obtain Letters of Testamentary or Letters of Administration?
If you are not attempting to access any asset of the decedent and the decedent has a Last Will & Testament - you should deposit the originally executed last will & testament with the clerk's office. There are no fees associated with depositing the will in safekeeping with the clerk. However, if you would like a certified copy of the will returned to you the fees are $1 per page and $2 for the certification. NOTE: Wills are not deposited or filed with the clerk's office until after death.
If you are seeking access to an asset:
There are a few levels of probate. Did the decedent own any real property (land or home) that had only their name listed and/or does the value of the asset you are trying to access exceed $6000?
Yes, there is real property that was owned solely by the decedent and/or the value of the property being accessed exceeds $6000? The value of the estate exceeds the limitations of any forms the Clerk's office may offer, you must seek the advice of a Probate attorney (per Probate rule 5.030).
Can you recommend an attorney to me?
We can provide you the Florida Bar Referral number: 850-561-5600 or you may contact Legal Services of Northwest Florida if you have limited funds: 850-862-3279
No, there is no real property and/or the asset value is less than $6000.
You may qualify to fill out a Disposition of Personal Property. The qualifications for filing this case type are as follows: The value of all assets cannot exceed $6000, cannot exceed the amount of the funeral bill (regardless of who paid for the funeral) or medical expenses paid within the last 60 days prior to the death of the decedent. The decedent may not have any creditors other than funeral home (if access to funds is to pay for funeral). We have these forms available on our website www.okaloosaclerk.com > Court Services > Probate. You will need to print the Disposition of Personal Property packet.
If the asset you are seeking access to is a motor vehicle, you may wish to provide the death certificate to the tax collector to request a change in title. NOTE: The clerk's office cannot advise you of the tax collector's processes or procedures however you may contact their office at 850-651-7300 or 850-689-5700.
A disposition of personal property without administration may be filed to access funds in another country providing that country will honor the Florida court order. It will be the filers responsibility to confirm the acceptance of an order with the country in which the asset is located.
You may also obtain the following probate forms on our website: Caveat by Creditor; Caveat by Interested Party and Statements of Claim.
If none of the above apply to your situation, you should seek the advice of legal counsel regarding the administration of the estate.
To be appointed as personal representative, executor, obtain letters of testamentary or letters of administration you will need to seek the advice of a Probate attorney.
The clerk's office does not have any forms available when an estate consists
of real property, has creditors or the value of the estate exceeds the amount of the paid funeral bill and/or the paid medical expenses within the last 60 days prior to the death of the decedent.
The filing fees for Probate Cases are as follows:
- Summary Administration (less than $1000) = $235
- Summary Administration (more than $1000) = $345
- Formal Administration = $400
- Petition to Open Safe Deposit Box = $231
- Disposition of Personal Property = $231
- Caveat/Notice of Trust = $41 (Filed prior to administration case)