Must a will be filed upon the death if the only beneficiary is the spouse?

UPDATED: Jun 29, 2019

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Must a will be filed upon the death if the only beneficiary is the spouse?

My husband died and had unclaimed funds state of Florida I have submitted all of the required paperwork, certified death certificate, copy of the will and my identification. They are now asking for court documents either Letters of administration open estate or Petition for administration closed estate or a Summary administration. How does one obtain these letters? I am the sole beneficiary of his entire estate.

Asked on June 29, 2019 under Estate Planning, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you have to do this, because a will only has power or effect if it is filed and if all the proper legal steps are filed--that is, the will goes through probate. A will that is not probated may as well not exist. It doesn't matter how many beneficiaries, or who they are: what matters is that a will is involved.

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