There may be a situation in which you need information from probate records in New York. Probate is a public process, so these records are publicly available. Depending on the court, you might be able to get some information online, such as the executor’s name. There may be a cost to get copies of a will.
Locating probate records
First, you need to know where probate has been filed. This is usually in the county where the person lived at the time of their death. Sometimes, it might be the county where the person owned real estate. You might be able to find more information online by searching the person’s name plus phrases such as “county probate court” or “county probate records.” If you still cannot find out anything about the case, you may be able to learn more by contacting the probate court. You might talk to the clerk over the phone or in person, and you may be able to view the documents sooner if you go in person. Another possibility is to contact a local attorney to do the search for you.
Getting the records
To get full records, you might need to either appear in person or make a written request. In the latter case, you might also need to send a self-addressed stamped envelope. There may be a fee for photocopies or other services.
There are a number of reasons that a person might want a copy of the will, including the possibility that they want to challenge it. Whether or not there is a challenge to the will, an executor might want to work with an attorney to help with probate estate administration. An executor’s duties may include locating and valuating all assets, paying creditors and filing taxes.