Losing a loved one is a painful experience. Part of the aftermath is determining the final wishes of the deceased. When a will is left behind, it serves as a guideline for the division of property and other assets. Getting a copy of your father's will in Florida when it has been filed publicly through probate can be accomplished through the clerk of courts office in the county where he resided. If it has not been probated, there are other measures to take.
Locate the clerk of court. A directory of clerk of court offices throughout Florida can be found online at Florida's official website (myflorida.com). From the home page, click the "government" link, then the link for "local government." Under the listings for county government, select the "contact county clerks of court" link. Select the "clerk directory and websites" link and choose the county in which your father resided. Phone and address information are listed, along with links to county clerk websites.
Request the probate file. Phone or email the clerk of courts office in the county where your father resided. Ask to speak with the deputy clerk in the probate department. Explain that your father's will has been probated and request a copy of the probate file. There may be a small fee for copies and delivery. You can also appear in person and make this request.
File probate on your own. If your father's estate has not been filed through probate and you have not been allowed access to the will, you may initiate probate proceedings. Go to the clerk of courts office in the county where he resided and ask to open a probate case. This can be done with or without an attorney, but you may want to hire a lawyer as probate cases can become complicated. A filing fee will apply. To find a probate attorney in Florida, go to the Florida Bar website (floridabar.org) and access the attorney referral service, or call 1-800-342-8011.
Appear in court. Attend the probate court hearing on your father's will. A judge will appoint a personal representative to ensure your father's wishes are followed in accordance with Florida law. The personal representative could be a an adult child of the deceased, another relative, an attorney, or anyone deemed appropriate by the judge. The judge will also demand that the will is provided to the court at which time you may receive a copy.