Estate Information

When your loved one passes away and you are required to obtain a short certificate, or you have a need to probate, we require the documents outlined on this page.

In Cases of Testacy (Will):

  • Original Will (Not a Photocopy)
  • If the Will is not notarized, it is probably not considered a "self-proving" Will, and we will require that the witnesses on the Will sign a Witness Oath (PDF) either in our presence or in the presence of a Notary Public.
  • Original Death Certificate
  • Cash or check to pay the probate fee which is calculated based on the value of the assets in the Estate on a sliding scale.
  • If the descendant owns any real estate, we recommend that you first contact an attorney.
  • If the named Executor is not related to the descendant or lives out of state, a fiduciary bond is required unless the Will states that a bond is not required.
  • Should the named Executor decide to renounce to the alternate Executor, you may download the Renunciation Form (PDF).

In Cases of Intestacy (No Will):

  • Original Death Certificate
  • Next-of-kin needs to be appointed. If that individual has siblings, then each sibling must sign a Renunciation Form (PDF) allowing that person to act as Administrator of the Estate.
  • If the Administrator lives outside of Pennsylvania or is not related to the descendant, then a fiduciary bond is required.

Application Process

The Register of Wills Office requires all individuals that wish to probate an Estate be present in the Register of Wills office by 3:30 p.m.

The application process takes approximately fifteen minutes, and if all documents are in order, you will leave with your short certificates.

Probate Records

Probate records are on file from 1794 to the present. A $5 search fee is required.

Forms

Estate Searches

For estate searches 1993 to present, visit the Landex website.

Coming Soon

Remote record searches through Landex dating back to 1949.