What happens if no one is able or willing to probate an estate?

UPDATED: Jan 5, 2013

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What happens if no one is able or willing to probate an estate?

My grandfather’s estate consists only of his primary residence, which is valued at less than 30k. I paid all debts and funeral expenses. Unfortunately the self proving affidavit was not filled out on the will, which names me as personal rep and sole beneficiary. The witness sigs are illegible and the notary unavailable. No one else in the family is willing to assist in resolving this estate. At this point, I only want to resolve the estate so that I either own it or no longer have to maintain the property. I’ve already spoken to probate attorneys who said they’d be unable to help me if witnesses and/or the notary are unwilling to testify.

Asked on January 5, 2013 under Estate Planning, Florida


Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Florida law contains provisions to "prove" a will (prove it is genuine & admit it to probate) when the witnesses are unavailable to testify.  I do not understand why probate attorneys told you they cannot help you.  My office is in St. Petersburg, so unless you are nearby it may not be cost effective to have me handle the estate for you.  I suggest you keep calling probate attorneys in your area until someone is familiar with the pertinent statute.  Be sure to speak with the attorney and not to a staff person who may not know about the alternate means of proving a will.  Quite frankly, it is not rare that witnesses are unavailable to prove a will.


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