For many people, the first time they hear about probate court is after a close family member dies and the estate makes its way through the probate process. For these people, as well as for people who may even have some experience with the probate process, the court system can often feel as if it’s a bureaucratic nightmare.
But fear not, for the world of probate is so inscrutable if you know where to look. If you want to find out some basic information about an estate, or need something more in-depth, there are several possible options available to you.
Probate cases are part of the public record, and if you want to find out about them you have to know how to access that record. The best place to start is by going to your local county courthouse to as the clerk where probate records are kept and how you can search them. Some courts will have specific records departments or a specific probate department, but the clerk will always be able to point you in the right direction.
Anytime an estate goes into probate it will be represented by an executor, also known as an estate representative or a personal representative. Once you find the probate case court record you can find the name of the executor, as well as relevant contact information. If you want to know about the status of the case you can call the executor’s office and ask for information.