Florida Probate Questions for the Month of July 2017

In Florida Probate Question of the Day by Long

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Question: My husband of 3 years has passed he bought a trailer home before we ever met there is no will who gets the trailer?


We need more context. Did your husband have children from previous relationships? And does he own the land that the trailer sits atop? This is critical information but we’ll make some assumptions.

Scenario 1: No Will. Husband did not own the land. Husband had children from previous relationship and no children with you. In this scenario, you would be entitled to own 50% and his children would own the other 50%.

Scenario 2: No Will. Husband DID own the land. Husband had children from previous relationship and no children with you. In this scenario, the trailer home along with the land would be considered a protected homestead and you would be entitled to a “life estate” in the property OR you could make an election within 6 months of date of death to own 50% of the home outright as tenants in common with the children. If you settled for the life estate, you would be allowed to possess the home until you died and after your passing, his children would own the home. If you made the TIC election, you and the children become co-owners of the property and collectively must decide the fate of the property.

Scenario 3: No will. Husband did not own the land. Husband had no children from previous relationship. In this scenario, you take ownership of the trailer outright.

We cannot afford attorneys fees at the moment. The property belonged to my husband’s mother and she left it to him in her will. There is no mortgage and the home is free and clear.


Need more context:

  • Are there any other assets or just this single property?
  • Was this the primary residence for your husband’s mother (her homestead)?

First off – no, there is no statute of limitations on filing probate. However, failing to do so can hamper one’s ability to do other things with the home such as insuring it, refinancing to take out equity (loans) and/or selling or renting the property.

We’ll take some liberties here and assume that it was her homestead property and she had no other assets. In this case, probate should be relatively straightforward and should include a determination of homestead by the probate court. Find an attorney who offers payment plans (we do in certain situations).