Getting Copies of Probate Documents in Pasco County Clerk Records
A common question asked as an estate planning attorney is how to obtain a copy of a deceased person's last will and testament or other probate court filings. Since probate records are public court records that anyone can read, if a will has been filed for probate then you should be able to obtain a copy of it. With modern technology comes the ability to locate information about a deceased person's estate online, and in most cases for absolutely free.
While you may not be able to view copies of the actual will and other documents that have been filed with the probate court for free, at least you will be able to see a list of the documents that have been filed, who has been named as the executor of the estate, which attorney the executor has hired, and the name of the judge presiding over the case.
Some courts even list the names of all of the beneficiaries of the estate. It will give you the ability to request copies of the will and any other documents you are interested in viewing from the probate clerk's office, or you can try contacting the executor or the executor's attorney for additional information.
Find Out Where a Probate Estate Has Been Filed
How do you determine the appropriate probate court where an estate is being or has been, probated? An estate is probated in the county where the deceased person lived at the time of his or her death, or, in some cases, the county where the deceased person owned real estate. Use the following website to locate the correct name of the county by plugging in the name of the city where the deceased person lived or owned real estate: City - County Search.
Request Copies of Probate Court Documents
Once you have located the appropriate county, an online search can be done for that county's probate court or probate court dockets. It can be tricky because in some states the probate court is not called the probate court, it could be referred to as the "circuit court," "surrogate's court," "orphan's court," or any other number of courts. But be persistent - since probate occurs in every county across the country, chances are you will be able to locate the appropriate court's online information.
Once you have located the appropriate county, usually the steps involved in obtaining a copy of a will or other probate document directly from the probate court will include the following:
- Appearing in person and asking for a copy of the will or another probate document, or making a written request by fax or mail if applying in person is not feasible.
- Paying a copying fee for the number of pages that the will or another probate document contains. These fees usually range from $1.00 to a few dollars per page.
- Providing a self-addressed, stamped envelope for mailing the copies if the request is not made in person.
How to View the Online Probate Dockets for Estates Probated in Dade City, Pasco County, Florida
If the estate you are interested in is being probated in the Pasco County Circuit Court located in Dade City, Florida, then follow the links and instructions provided below to view the Lake County probate court dockets online. Other cities located in Pasco County include Aripeka, Bayonet Point, Crystal Springs, Elfers, Gulf Harbors, Holiday, Hudson, Lacoochee, Land O' Lakes, New Port Richey, Odessa, San Antonio, Shady Hills, Trinity, Wesley Chapel, and Zephyrhills.
- Click on the following link for the website for the Pasco County, Florida Clerk's website: Clerk & Comptroller, Pasco County, Florida.
- At the top of the page on the right side, click on Online Services.
- On the left side of the page, click on Court Records Search.
- Click on I Agree to the Terms.
- On the left side of the page, enter the decedent's name as indicated and then click on "Search."
- Once you locate your probate case, click on the "Info" link. You will then see the complete probate docket by date along with the name of the personal representative(s) and the name of the attorney representing the personal representative(s).
Once you locate the documents you want to have copied, you can go back to the county clerk's home page. Scroll down and on the right side click on click on Contact Us to access all of the contact information for the clerk's office. You can then visit the clerk's office in person or give them a call to determine the procedure for obtaining the copies and the costs involved.