In Florida, are Wills recorded?

Many times when a person dies in Florida, family members may ask whether the person's Last Will and Testament is recorded anywhere. In most instances, a Will is not recorded while a person is living.

In most instances, Florida attorneys do not recommend recording a Will while a person is living. Probably the single-most compelling reason not to record a person's Will is because of confidentiality and privacy. When a person records a Will, they unnecessarily disclose matters pertaining to their estate plan. This would include who are their beneficiaries, who will be their Personal Representative, and what are their intentions regarding final disposition (cremation or burial).   

In addition, recording a Will poses a challenge in the event the Will is later amended or replaced. If the Codicil (amendment) or new Will is not recorded, confusion may result as to what were the person's last intentions.

One caution should be noted on this issue: when a person dies resident in Florida, the law requires that the person in possession of an original Will deposit the person's Will with the Clerk in the county where the person resided. This allows interested persons to informed of the existence of the Will in case probate is necessary.

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