Wills are a written instrument whereby a person makes a disposition of his or her property to take effect after his or her death. A Testator is a person who has made a will.

There is no requirement to "record" a will. However, during a person's lifetime, he or she may deposit a will with the Probate Cout for safekeeping. During that person's lifetime, the fact that a will may be held for safekeeping is not a public record. 

Wills held for safekeeping

  • For a $25.00 fee, a testator may deposit a will with the court for safekeeping.  The will must be in a sealed envelope, on which must be written the testator’s full name, date of birth, address, and last 4 digit of social security.

  • During the testator’s lifetime, the will is not a public record and may only be removed by the testator or by his/her designee.  Designees must use the Authorization to Release Will held for Safekeeping (PC 548).

  • After the testator’s death, a will may be deposited with the court at no charge, provided a copy of the death certificate is filed.  

  • Upon filing of a death certificate, the will becomes a public record and the court will retain the original will.  Copies of the will may be obtained for $1.50 per page. 

If a decedent estate has been opened with the court, the original will is part of the court file and may be viewed or a copy obtained.

Probating a Will:  See Estates.