FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 6, 2011 

Index of probate records now searchable online

Surrogate makes index available dating back to 1991

FREEHOLD, NJ – Looking for information on a will? Now you can use the Internet to search the Index of Probate Records at the Monmouth County Surrogate’s Office.

“In this age of online access to information, this will allow the public to research part of the Surrogate’s probate index without the need to submit a written or telephone request,” Monmouth County Surrogate Rosemarie D. Peters said.

Types of searches that can be conducted online include: estates where there is a will; administrations (estates with no will); affidavits of surviving spouse (estates under $20,000 with no will); and affidavits of next of kin (estates under $10,000 with no will). The index covers the years 1991 to the present. 

The online search tool can be used by family members or anyone with a computer, but is also useful for title searchers looking to ensure that a property has been transferred legally. Once a name is found in the index, a request form to learn more about specific documents in the file can be printed, filled out and mailed to the Surrogate’s Office, along with a $10 check as mandated by state statute. Copies of specific documents can then be obtained.

Records available for viewing in the Surrogate’s Records Room in the Hall of Records include those involving estates, such as wills, inventories, and accountings; guardianships of incapacitated persons; pre-1940 adoption records, and Orphan’s Court minutes.   

“Searching the online index saves a big step for everyone interested in researching estates,” Peters said. “By the time they get to our Records Room, they already know what they are looking for.

“Our plan is to add more indexed information to the online search in the future,” Peters added. “Eventually, the index of all estates on record in the Surrogate’s Office will be online.”

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