Probate Index & Files

Probate is the process that transfers the legal ownership of property from someone who has passed away (known as the “decedent”) to their rightful heirs and beneficiaries.

The term “probate” refers to proving the validity of a will or determining the legal heirs if there is no will. Basically, probate helps decide who gets what from the deceased person’s property.

When property is left through a will, it usually has to go through probate court for several months or even a year before it can be given to the rightful inheritors. Unfortunately, probate is neither cheap nor quick. It involves going through a hearing in courts that are already overwhelmed, which can tie up the property for a year or longer. On top of that, probate can be quite expensive. Estate attorneys, who often charge a flat percentage or a high hourly rate, typically handle probate. Their fees and court costs can add up to 5% of the estate’s value.

Now, here’s something to keep in mind: a will is a highly personal document that may reveal private family and financial matters. However, once it’s entered into the court record, it becomes public and can be inspected by anyone.

So, in a nutshell, probate is the process that determines who gets what from a deceased person’s property. It can be a lengthy and costly affair, involving courts and attorneys. And remember, once a will is in the court record, it becomes public knowledge.

  • Project Name: Probates
  • Project Manager: Floyd Smith III
  • Project Status: Active / On-going
  • Project Statistics as of: 10 Nov 2021


Number of names in database


Number of counties represented in database


Number of files in this collection

  • Source Information:
    Nebraska Probate Index and Files, ca1890’s-2000 [online database]. © 2021 West Nebraska Family Research & History Center; Scottsbluff, Nebraska, USA.
    Data and digital images taken from original records located onsite.

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