New Zealand, Archives New Zealand, Probate Records, 1843-1998 is a free collection at FamilySearch with probate and estate records in a name-searchable index. This searchable collection includes browsable images.

 
 
[su_heading size=”20″]What Can I Learn from these Records? [/su_heading]

“Probate records are court records that describe the distribution of a person’s estate after he or she dies. The probate process began with a testator executing a will, followed by witnesses attesting and subscribing the will. After the death of a testator, the will was probated by the executor, usually at the court nearest the deceased’s place of residence. Since a will was the only record necessary for the transfer of property and belongings to family and close friends, disagreements often occurred. To solve such disagreements, all those involved instigated a probate. The records in this collection represent the eventual conclusions of those probate hearings. Even though probate records were not created for every person who died, they are very helpful for research because civil authorities began recording probate actions earlier than they recorded birth and death records.”

These probate and estate records may include:

  • Name of testator
  • Death date
  • Record date
  • Occupation
  • Names of heirs
  • Guardians and executor
  • Relationships
  • Residences
  • Addresses of property owned
  • An inventory of the estate (including trade and household goods)
  • Names of witnesses
  • Links to images

 
 
[su_heading size=”20″]How Do I Read the Records? [/su_heading]

Images for probates issued during the past 50 years are not, for legal privacy reasons, available for viewing. These records are written in English and include the following courts in New Zealand:

 

You’ll need to be logged in with a free FamilySearch account to search these records. It’s easy to register for a free account at FamilySearch.

 

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