Making Abstracts of Wills
9/27/2009

While you'll want to make a photocopy of your ancestor's will when you find it, abstracting the record for later use is easier than reading through the whole document again. Here are the key items to record when abstracting a will:

type of record (will, inventory, intestate proceedings, etc.)

source citation (book, page/s, file number, microfilm number)

repository name and address

name of testator (person making the will)

personal information ("of sound mind and body," desired burial, etc.)

names and relationships (if given) of executors

date the will was signed

date the will was entered into probate and/or recorded

signature or mark of testator

names and addresses (if given) of witnesses

bequests and devises (names, relationships, items each person is to receive,including land descriptions)

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