A copy of a probated will is useful for a variety of reasons, including family tree research, property title research, and preparing for a legal challenge to the original probate proceedings. Once a will has been through probate -- the legal proceeding to settle the estate -- the will is considered public record. You can get a copy of a probated will by visiting the court where probate occurred.
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Locate the probate or surrogate court that handled the probate proceedings. Check the state judicial system's official website for a list of addresses of the probate and surrogate courts.
Tell the court clerk you need a copy of a probated will. Give the clerk the legal name of the deceased person and the date of death. If you don't know the exact date, give the clerk the year.
Pay the copy fee. Probate and surrogate courts typically charge a fee for will copies. Check the will copy before leaving to make sure you have all the pages.
Tips & Warnings
You typically can't look at a will filed for safekeeping that has not been through legal proceedings, even if the person is deceased.
References & Resources
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