Are last wills and testaments in Alabama a matter of public record? Where would I start looking?

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    2 Responses to “Are last wills and testaments in Alabama a matter of public record? Where would I start looking?”

    1. gene-e Says:

      No, generally they would not be public record, although some of the very old ones may have been abstracted — or have been included in historical or genealogical books.

      Your search depends upon two things: the county where the will was filed, and the date. Each county will have a different process, different prices and different ranges of dates that are available.

      This website has all the Alabama counties and where you can locate probate records:
      http://myalabamagenealogy.com/index.htm

      If you don’t know the exact death date, you should search for your ancestor in a index first. (Some courts will also search a range of years for you, but usually for a fee.)

      For many Alabama counties, familysearch.org has probate record indexes on microfilm.

      Also, various historical or genealogical societies have created probate record indexes as well. Once you know the correct county you can search for books at worldcat.org. (I just did a search there and they list over 500 books for alabama probate records!) You can get many of these books via InterLibraryLoan at your own library.

      So you have several options: books, records or indexes on microfilm, and, of course, the original will filed with the courts.

      Familysearch.org sums up these strategies in a free step-by-step online guide here:
      http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/RG/frameset_rg.asp?Dest=G&Aid=1384&Gid=0&Sid=9841&Sisgid=9399&Lid=356&Did=550&Guide=US_BMDT3_Wills.asp&Juris1=356&Event=Death&Year=550&Gloss=Wills%2C%20Administrations%2C%20and%20Inventories&Sub=Probate%20records&Tab=Search&Entry=6&Loc=Alabama%2C%20United%20States

    2. Barry S Says:

      For free, check out http://www.crimcheck.com , they have an extensive free public records section.

      But since you would have to do the research yourself which can lead to missing out on information, I would recomend http://www.easybackgroundchecks.com , they offer statewide background checks for $15. They also offer nationwide background checks for $30