probate lawWhen a family member or loved one dies, one of the most important steps to probate their will and one of very clear requirements of state probate law is to file their will with the local probate court.

Florida Law requires a will to be deposited no later than 10 days after receiving notice of death

732.901 Production of wills.

(1) The custodian of a will must deposit the will with the clerk of the court having venue of the estate of the decedent within 10 days after receiving information that the testator is dead. The custodian must supply the testator’s date of death or the last four digits of the testator’s social security number to the clerk upon deposit.


While the Florida Probate Rules provide very specific instructions on how the court must be notified of death:

Rule 5.171

Evidence of Death

In a proceeding under these rules, the following shall apply:

(a)     Death Certificate. An authenticated copy of a death certificate issued by an official or agency of the place where the death purportedly occurred or by an official or agency of the United States is prima facie proof of the fact, place, date, and time of death and the identity of the decedent.

(b)     Other Records. A copy of any record or report of a governmental agency, domestic or foreign, that a person is dead, alive, missing, detained, or, from the facts related, presumed dead is prima facie evidence of the status, dates, circumstances, and places disclosed by the record or report.

(c)      Extended Absence. A person who is absent from the place of that person’s last known domicile for a continuous period of 5 years and whose absence is not satisfactorily explained after diligent search and inquiry is presumed dead. The person’s death is presumed to have occurred at the end of the period unless there is evidence establishing that death occurred earlier.

For More information, see our Probate Rules website here.


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