Probate is the process of settling the affairs of a deceased person and transferring ownership in any property they had to their heirs or individuals named in a valid will. In the United States, probates are local court records. The place to start looking for a probate is where the person owned the most of their property. But that may not be the only place where probate proceedings were filed.

If the person owned property in other counties in the same state, there may have been a probate filed there as well–at least a minimal one. Keep in mind that typically if a person owned property in two separate counties in the same state that usually the probate case is heard where the bulk of the property is located or where the person lived.

If the person owned real property in another state, a probate may have been filed in that location as well. My relative who owned property in both Harford and Baltimore Counties in Maryland and died in the early 1800s only had a probate filed in Baltimore County where the bulk of the property was located and where his home was located as well.

My ancestor who died in Ohio in 1823 had a probate case in Ohio and in Maryland where he was from. A relative of mine who died in Indiana but had an inheritance in property in Illinois had probates filed in both states.

It never hurts to look.



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