How to find a recorded last will & testament

Written by t roe
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How to find a recorded last will & testament
Recorded last will and testaments are filed with the probate court. (US Supreme Court image by dwight9592 from Fotolia.com)

After someone dies, a last will and testament will provide guidance to legally distribute any money and personal items left behind to family and friends of the deceased. If a last will and testament is recorded it must be filed with the county probate court in the county where the deceased lived.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Full name of deceased
  • County of residence

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Determine where the archived records for the probate court are kept for the county of residence for the deceased.

  2. 2

    Visit the location where the probate records are kept.

    How to find a recorded last will & testament
    Archives hold thousands of records. (ordner image by Jörg Stumpf from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Go to the index of the archived records and locate the name of the person whose records you wish to view .

    How to find a recorded last will & testament
    Names should be listed alphabetically. (file image by Jan Will from Fotolia.com)
  4. 4

    Write down a list of the docket numbers of all the records you are interested in seeing or copying.

  5. 5

    Submit the list of records along with docket numbers and the full name of the deceased to the employee working in the archive.

  6. 6

    Make copies or take notes to preserve the important information pertaining to the last will and testament in which you are interested.

  7. 7

    Return all records to the archive employee in the same condition in which you received them.

Tips and warnings

  • Many archives have information available online. You may be able to find information about the archive and even a copy of the holdings list.
  • Never write on any records you are given to view. Return all records in the original condition.

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