Probate is a process in which the court determines who is to receive assets that were once owned by a person who has died. Assets are considered to be anything of value owned by an individual and can include property, cash, stocks, bonds, jewelry, art, cars, or any other material item. Probate court records contain extensive lists of all of the assets listed in a person’s will as well as those things that were not listed in a will, but distributed by the court.
Probate court records contain much more than just a list of assets. Probate court records can also show collection debts that were owed to the person that died, or money that the deceased person owed to debtors. Probate court records can show that titles on the land the deceased person owned have been cleared and which banks or loan companies held the titles or processed the loans on properties owned by the person that died.
Probate court records contain all of the information about any disputes arose over the will left by the deceased person. A search through probate court records will show you if the will was contested and what parties it was contested by. Probate court records also show you who the court favored when it came to settling the claims and disputes that were raised.
Probate court records also show if there was a dispute raised concerning the validity of the will. Through probate court records, you can learn if the deceased person’s will was thought to be manipulated, or even an out and out fraud. Probate court records even tell you who brought claims of fraud against the will.
It can be very interesting to browse through probate court records. Often you will learn things about people that you never knew. Searching through the probate court records of your deceased family members could enlighten you about stories that were never told at the family reunions. Perhaps you had a relative that was decorated in the civil war and the perusal of their probate court records proves this because they left their medals to their grandchild. Perhaps you have cousins you never knew existed, but your great-grandfather’s probate court records indicate that he remembered a child that no one knew about, giving you the opportunity to contact a long lost family member. Perhaps your great uncle owned property in a state you didn’t even know your family ever visited and that information found in the probate court records opens the door for you to research branches of the family tree that would have been lost to you.
Probate court records are fun to browse through and often very enlightening. What a person left behind, often says a lot about that person, and probate court records are a fantastic glimpse into a person’s life.
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