Whether you are trying to find a long lost relative or trying to fill out the family tree, a probate search may be the answer you are looking for. Many people search birth records, marriage records, and divorce records but they forget about the probate records. This one simple tool can give you more information than you think. Here’s how.
Why Bother with a Probate Search?
What people do not realize is that the probate records contain more than just the property records. It actually tells you who the estate was given to and who thought they had a claim. That means you now get lots of names you may not know existed.
If a Will is involved, then you see who the deceased thought was important. The Will can include more than just immediate family. It may include cousins, aunts, friends and anyone else. Search through these names and you might find a family connection.
Sometimes, people are not included in the Will. They can file a claim with the court as well. These people are also included in the probate records. So not only do you see who the deceased thought was important, but you see who else thought they should be included.
Where to Begin with a Probate Search
The easiest place to start is online. You can search through the records online before ever reaching a courthouse. Unless you need an official copy, there is no real reason to go to the county court.
You will need the name of the deceased (decedent) to search online. If you know the state and county, then this will make searching online easier. However, this information is not necessary.
What to do with the Probate Information
You did the search and now you have all this information. Unfortunately, you do not know what to do with it all. It can be overwhelming but here are some tips on what to do next.
- Birth Records Search – The first thing you want to do is search the birth records. This way you can get an idea if they belong in the family tree. Not everyone listed, will be part of the family.
- Divorce Records Search – Once you find a member of the family, search the divorce records. Divorce records will list the spouse and any children.
- People Search – The probate records will list the name and address. Conduct a people search to locate members and find out what they know.
You can start your probate search now and start filling out that family tree tonight. It is simple and easy.