Probate Research in Nebraska: A Guide - Boyum Law
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Probate Research in Nebraska: A Guide

At home DNA testing kit commercials are everywhere, but before you send away for one, consider an alternative, more personal option for tracing your family history: probate research. Probate research involves looking through probate records. Probate records are created when someone dies. This is similar to the social security death index that people also look through to look back on genealogy. They keep track of court decisions involving estates, adoptions, bonds, wills, and guardianship. Since the records keep track of many components of a person’s life, they are perfect for genealogical research. So, before you spit into the little plastic tube to have your DNA analyzed, try tracing your family history by conducting your own probate research. If your probate research yields no tangible results for you to use, you may want to check out dna testing in Chicago or a city nearer to you for you to get professional results that you can use. There are many ways of finding out your family history, researching the best ones is a priority.

Step 1: Prepare for Probate Research

Probate research requires a little prep. First, it’s important to determine which family member you’re going to research. You want the person you’re researching to be someone you know a little about. This is because you need to know their legal name in order to look up their documents. Knowing a little about the person will also make it easier to determine which county holds their probate records. The county clerk’s office in every county holds the probate records of its residents.

Step 2: Obtain the Document

Once you’ve determined which county holds the probate records, you’ll want to get in touch with the county clerk’s office to plan a visit. When you get there, make sure you don’t ask just to see your family member’s will. Probate records include a wide array of documents, such as an individual’s will and associated records, petitions, guardianship, appointment of administrators and executors, division of property, accounts, and receipts. By asking to see the will, you’re potentially excluding other documents in your family member’s file that also include valuable information.

Step 3: Sift through the Information

Once you have access to your family member’s probate records, you can start sifting through them to find valuable information. Probate records usually show ties between close family members. Wills typically contain the most genealogically information. This is because the relationship between the deceased and their heirs is defined in the will. For example, a will would read “to my nephew, John Doe, I leave my pocket watch.” So, the language used to describe the relationship between an heir and the deceased helps to trace your genealogy or family tree. Other information, such as maiden names and married names of women can be identified in probate records. For this reason, probate records are an effective way for you to conduct your own genealogical research.