Probate records are documents created by the local court after a person's death. They are proof of authenticity that a will is legitimate and valid. The probate court keeps all records on file, and if there is no will, inheritance laws provide guidelines for the transfer of assets. Probate is a legal process that takes place after a person's death and involves proving the validity of the will, identifying and assessing the deceased person's property, paying outstanding debts and taxes, and distributing the property according to the will or state law.
Public records such as those from the Court of Appeals and Superior Court (including civil, criminal, domestic violence, estate and tax cases) can be used to find probate records. These records are essential for research because they often predate birth and death records maintained by civil authorities. Other clues often found in inheritance records include the ancestor's previous residence, occupation, land ownership, household items, former spouse, religion, and military service. To find a will in public records, you can do an online search to find the probate case.
Although succession records are one of the most accurate sources of genealogical evidence, they have limitations.