Estate Planning | Were you recently named the probate in an estate? More often than you think, individuals are assigned as executor of an estate without realizing the will is written in a foreign language. What should you do in this case, and how can you ensure the will is legitimate in the state of Florida?
First, you should contact a lawyer skilled in estate planning. They are familiar with the section of the code that highlights wills written in a foreign language, also referred to as section 733.204 in the Florida probate code. It’s important to note that this is different than a foreign will with property that is in another state or country — this particular code refers just to a will that is written in another language.
Once you speak with an attorney, you will need to find someone to translate the will into English. No court or judge will accept a will written in a foreign language unless it is a “true and complete English translation.” As long as the property is still located in Florida, and the translation is accurate, you should have no issues filing and executing on the will
It’s also important to note that a handwritten will – no matter what language — will not be accepted by any courts in Florida. This is also the case for oral wills. Make sure you speak with an attorney if you are moving in to Florida, as your will likely will need to be updated to ensure compliance with Florida laws.
If you need help translating a will in a foreign language, or are interested in learning more about the estate planning process, contact the attorneys at Mortellaro Law for a private consultation on your rights.

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