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18 May 2012

Intestate Means No Will Admitted to Probate

If the estate records of your ancestor indicate she died "intestate" that means there was no valid will that was admitted to probate. There might have been a will, but that will was denied probate by the judge. That will should be filed with the court.

Read it if you can. Sometimes it's clear why the will was denied and sometimes it is not.


  1. By the time my Dad died, he didn't own any property that required probate. I was pretty sure about that but I made an appointment with the court clerk to be sure. Even though the estate did not have to go through probate, the clerk went ahead and registered the will so now it's in the public record. I don't know if that is done consistently today.

  2. Thank you for that bit of information; I have been trying to track down a will for quite some time. My grandfather had supposedly died intestate, even though he and my grandmother had worked on their will constantly over the years. My grandmother passed away in 1993 and my grandfather in 2005. My uncle got the power of attorney and became executor, and to my knowledge my grandparent's will was never probated or enacted. I am still looking for it, but believe it may have been put into a blind trust, thereby bypassing probate entirely...any suggestions for a fellow genealogist?