When does probate come in? 3 Answers as of February 27, 2013

My husband passed away. He has property and I lived in his home. His sons are trying to take the home and say they have a will but, has not produced it. They are stalking me and they are taking everything they want. My husband had told me to change the locks in which I did before he passed away. They are telling me they are going to let an outside son live in the house. Should I turn over the house keys yet? He has been deceased since December 4, 2012.

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The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A.
The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A. | Laurie E. Ohall
In Florida, if a surviving spouse is not on the deed to the homestead property, and the property is not left to the surviving spouse in a Will (or there is no Will), then Florida law states that the surviving spouse has the right to a life estate in the house, or the spouse can elect to take a one-half interest in the property with the other half being shared by the decedent's children. The surviving spouse has six months to make that election. You really should seek the help of a probate attorney because, in Florida, an attorney is required in order to open an estate (in most instances, and definitely, in this instance).
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 2/27/2013
Law Offices of Phillip Day
Law Offices of Phillip Day | Phillip Day
Go talk to an attorney immediately. Unless you signed a prenuptial agreement, you have rights in Florida as the spouse of the deceased.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 2/27/2013
Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
As the deceased's wife you can petition to open the estate. It will forced them to show the will, if there is one. If not you are entitled to what is called a life estate in the home and his sons receive a remainder interest in the home. That life estate entitles you to remain in the home for the remainder of your life. Their remainder interest means you can't sell the home or make any major improvements to the home without their consent. It also means once you pass away, the home is theirs. Once you open an estate, (you'll need an attorney to do this) you can explain to the judge what is happening to you and he will be able to put a stop to that. I advise you to see an attorney as soon as possible.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 2/27/2013
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