Washington Probate Records

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Probate Courts[edit | edit source]

In the territorial era, probate courts were established in each county to keep records of wills, bonds, orders, and the administrations of estates. When the superior courts succeeded the probate courts in 1891, all of the records of the clerks of the probate courts were transferred to the county clerk in each courthouse. Some probates were filed in the superior court.

The Family History Library has acquired copies of probate records for a few counties in Washington. However, they are also available at the various county courthouses, or the county may have transferred early records to the Washington State Archives at http://www.secstate.wa.gov/archives/.

Record Content[edit | edit source]

WILL written instructions by a person regarding settlement of his affairs after his death
INTESTATE deceased without a will
PETITION FOR PROBATE OF WILL request to the Court for administration of estate of deceased person
NOTICE OF APPLICATION FOR LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION person appointed by Court to direct distribution of estate; not specified in will
ADMINSTRATRIX female administrator
EXECUTOR administrator appointed in will
BOND OF ADMINSTRATOR money assurance of validity
AFFIDAVIT OF PUBLICATION declaration upon oath
LETTERS OF GUARDIANSHIP Court given authority to care for another person

TYPES OF DOCUMENTS name deceased name administrator + relationship to deceased heirs + relationships names witnesses death date + place property of decease
WILL Green check.png Green check.png
PETITION FOR PROBATE Green check.png Green check.png Green check.png Green check.png
WITNESS' STATEMENTS Green check.png Green check.png
INVENTORY AND APPRAISAL Green check.png Green check.png
FINAL ACCOUNT + PETITION FOR DISTRIBUTION Green check.png Green check.png Green check.png Green check.png Green check.png

References[edit | edit source]

Washington Research Outline. Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., Family History Department, 1998, 2001.

NOTE: All of the information from the original research outline has been imported into the FamilySearch Wiki and is being updated as time permits.

Wiki articles describing online collections are found at: