Under Texas law, all wills admitted to probate are public records, a copy of which can be obtained by any interested member of the public. In every Texas county, the clerk of court for the probate court is responsible for maintaining copies of all probate records, including wills admitted to probate. After determining whether a will has been filed in a specific Texas county, you can obtain a copy of a probated will by filing a records request with the probate clerk.
Finding the Right Courthouse
Check where the decedent filed his will. In most instances, the Texas county where a decedent’s will is filed is the county where the decedent either last maintained a permanent residence or owned property. Some Texas counties, particularly those with a large city, maintain an index of probate records online. Although you cannot obtain a copy of a decedent’s will online, using the probate records search can help you determine whether the decedent filed in a particular county. The Texas Court System maintains an online listing of websites for the probate court in all Texas counties (see Resources).
Finding the Will
Visit the probate clerk in the appropriate county during normal business hours. Some Texas probate courts only permit members of the public to make copies on certain days or at certain hours. Call the probate clerk before your visit to make sure that you can make copies.
Perform a search of the probate records. In order to perform a search of the probate records, you will need the name of the person whose will you are searching for. Additionally, you can also search by case number or the name of any attorney handling the case.
Pay any necessary fees for obtaining a copy of the decedent’s will. The cost of obtaining a copy of a will varies by county, length of will and whether the clerk must retrieve the will from microfilm.