Ventura County Genealogical Society
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Probate records refer to wills, inventories, letters of administration and guardianship. They are usually held at the county courthouse unless archived.
There are three types of wills: Attested, Holographic and Nuncupative. The "attested" will is the most common and is prepared for the testator. A "holographic" will is written by the testator himself. A "nuncupative" will is the deathbed wishes of the testator, recorded by a witness present at the bedside. All wills must be witnessed.
A person who dies "intestate" dies without a will.
An "executor" is named by the testator and is required by the court to post a bond. An "administrator" is appointed to handle the affairs of one who dies intestate (without a will).
A bequest is a legacy, usually a gift of real estate by will.
A Codicil is a supplemental document to a will.
Decedent refers to the deceased person.
A widow's dower is her claim to a portion of her deceased husband's estate during her lifetime for her and her children's support.
When doing research in probate records, request to see the entire file.