IN RE: AMENDMENTS TO THE FLORIDA PROBATE RULES-2019 FAST-TRACK REPORT.
FILING OF A MOTION FOR REHEARING SHALL NOT ALTER THE
EFFECTIVE DATE OF THESE AMENDMENTS.
Original Proceeding - The Florida Probate Rules Committee
Jeffrey Scott Goethe, Chair, Florida Probate Rules Committee,
Bradenton, Florida, Joshua E. Doyle, Executive Director, and
Krys Godwin, Staff Liaison, The Florida Bar, Tallahassee,
Florida, for Petitioner
Florida Bar's Probate Rules Committee (Committee) has
filed a "fast-track" out-of-cycle report proposing
amendments to the Florida Probate Rules in response to recent
legislation. See Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.140(e)(1). We
have jurisdiction and adopt the amendments as proposed.
Committee proposes amendments to the following rules: 5.015
(General Definitions); 5.043 (Deposit of Wills and Codicils);
5.120 (Administrator Ad Litem and Guardian Ad Litem); 5.200
(Petition for Administration); 5.210 (Probate of Wills
Without Administration); 5.215 (Authenticated Copy of Will);
and 5.230 (Commission to Prove Will).
Executive Committee of the Board of Governors of The Florida
Bar unanimously approved the Committee's proposals. The
Committee did not publish the proposals before filing them
with the Court. After considering the Committee's
proposals and the relevant legislation, we amend the Florida
Probate Rules as proposed by the Committee. The more
significant amendments are discussed below.
pertaining to rule 5.015, subdivision (b)(1) is amended to
add "whether in paper or electronic form," after
"original" to make it clear that a "certified
copy" can apply to electronic wills. See ch.
2019-71, § 37, Laws of Fla. (enacting § 732.526,
Fla. Stat. (2019)). As amended, subdivision (b)(1)
provides:" '[C]ertified copy' means a copy of a
document signed and verified as a true copy by the officer to
whose custody the original, whether in paper or electronic
form, is entrusted."
rule 5.043 is amended to add language requiring that
electronic wills, in addition to paper wills, be maintained
in their original format for twenty years after submission.
See ch. 2019-71, § 37, Laws of Fla. (enacting
§ 732.526, Fla. Stat. (2019)). Specifically,
"including but not limited to an electronic will,"
is added after "executed will or codicil." As
amended, the sentence reads: "Notwithstanding any rule
to the contrary, and unless the court orders otherwise, any
original executed will or codicil, including but not limited
to an electronic will, deposited with the court . . . must be
retained . . . ."
the Florida Probate Rules are amended as reflected in the
appendix to this opinion. New language is indicated by
underscoring; deletions are indicated by struck-through type.
The amendments shall take effect immediately upon the release
of this opinion. Because the amendments were not published
for comment prior to their adoption, interested persons shall
have seventy-five days from the date of this opinion in which
to file comments with the Court.
CANADY, C.J., and POLSTON, LABARGA, LAWSON, and MUÑIZ,
5.015. GENERAL DEFINITIONS
Specific Definitions. When used in these rules
"certified copy" means a copy of a document signed
and verified as a true copy by the officer to whose custody
the original, whether in paper or electronic form,
(2)-(7) [No Changes]
Committee Notes Rule History
1977-2008 Revision: [No Changes]
Revision: Subdivision (b)(1) amended to reference electronic
original documents consistent with section 732.526, Florida
Statutes. Committee notes revised.
§ 1.01, Fla. Stat. Definitions.
§ 393.063, Fla. Stat. Definitions.
§ 393.12, Fla. Stat. Capacity; appointment of guardian
§ 731.201, Fla. Stat. General definitions.
§ 732.526, Fla. Stat. Probate.
§ 736.0103, Fla. Stat. Definitions.
§ 738.102, Fla. Stat. Definitions.
§ 739.102, Fla. Stat. Definitions.
§ 744.102, Fla. Stat. Definitions.
5.043. DEPOSIT OF WILLS AND CODICILS
any rule to the contrary, and unless the court orders
otherwise, any original executed will or codicil,
including but not limited to an electronic will,
deposited with the court must be retained by the clerk in its
original form and must not be destroyed or disposed of by the
clerk for 20 years after submission regardless of whether the
will or codicil has been permanently recorded as defined by
Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.430.
2012 Adoption. [No Changes]
2012 Revision: New Rule.
Revision: Added reference to deposit of electronic wills
consistent with section 732.526, Florida Statutes. Committee
§ 731.201(16), (40), Fla. Stat. General
§ 732.526, Fla. Stat. Probate.
§ 732.901, Fla. Stat. Production of wills.
Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.430 Retention of court records. Fla. R.
Jud. Admin. 2.525 Electronic filing.
5.120. ADMINISTRATOR AD LITEM AND GUARDIAN AD LITEM
(a)-(g) [No Changes]
Notes Rule History