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Tampa Estate Planning Attorney > Blog > Probate > Who Gets A Copy Of The Decedent’s Will During Probate?

Who Gets A Copy Of The Decedent’s Will During Probate?


Being the personal representative of the estate of a deceased person is a big job.  This is why some people designate a probate lawyer to act as personal representative, and why some people whose family members named them as personal representative choose to hire lawyers to help them fulfill their duties as personal representative.  The personal representative must file taxes on behalf of the estate and notify creditors that the estate is open for probate, as well as paying debts on behalf of the estate, and sometimes even selling assets from the estate in order to repay debts.  Besides all of this, the personal representative of the estate must send copies of the will to everyone who will inherit from the estate, and perhaps even some people who will not.  If you are feeling overwhelmed by your duties as personal representative of the estate of a deceased person, contact a Tampa probate attorney.

To Whom Must the Personal Representative Send a Copy of the Will?

The recipient of the original will is the probate court in the county where the decedent resided at the end of his or her life, but part of the personal representative’s duties during probate is to send a copy of the decedent’s will to the following parties:

  • Beneficiaries listed in the will
  • Interested person not listed as beneficiaries in the will, such as family members that the decedent disinherited or anyone who was listed as a beneficiary in an earlier will but not in the final one
  • The IRS or an accountant helping the personal representative file tax returns on behalf of the estate
  • The trustee of the decedent’s trust, if the decedent has one

How to Get a Copy of a Deceased Person’s Will If the Personal Representative Did Not Provide You With One

In Florida, almost anyone can get a copy of a deceased person’s will from the state register of will.  The custodian of the will (who may or may not be the same person as the personal representative of the estate) must submit the will to the state register of wills within ten days of finding out about the death.  People can request copies of the will, even if the estate settled years earlier.  Florida does not have an online register of wills, and the state register of wills must keep paper copies of wills for at least 20 years after the testator’s death.  The state register of wills also stores copies of older wills on microfilm.  If you are planning to attempt to reopen an estate that has already settled, getting a copy of the will is an important first step, but some people request old wills simply for purposes of historical or genealogical research.

Contact David Toback With Questions About the Duties of Personal Representatives

A Central Florida probate lawyer can help you with the voluminous paperwork that goes with acting as the personal representative of an estate.  Contact David Toback in Tampa, Florida to set up a consultation.



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