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Author: Kate Follington

Probate records processed through the Supreme Court in 2016 are now available to view or copy via Public Record Office Victoria's website. Public Record Office Victoria regularly receives thousands of probate records that have been filed with the Supreme Court. The records also include a will, where one has been lodged as part of the case.

The Supreme Court has exclusive jurisdiction to make orders that enable the administration of deceased estates by either the grant of probate for a valid will or a letter of administration in instances the deceased did not leave a will.
Wills and Probate records are open to the public and anybody can apply to view or receive a copy of those records. 

"PROV has received around 20,000 probate records from the Supreme Court for cases heard in each of the last 5 calendar years. Not all estates need to be processed by the Supreme Court, one reason being the complexity of the estate," said Jack Martin, the Co-ordinator of Collection Management at Public Record Office Victoria. Jack's team handles the physical transfer of the records. 

It's a very simple process to search and order a copy of the Probate records, and any other documents which determined the settling of a person's estate. 


To order a copy of a Probate record 

  • Search by name on our Wills and Probate topic page
  • Order the record via our catalogue if you'd like to view the record in our reading room the next day 
  • Note down the citation details which appear on the result if you'd like a copy
  • Fill out the online order form on the Wills and Probate topic page and include the record's citation details. 

Wills and Probate records are an important archive for family history research as they often mention the names of family members or close friends, but they are also of interest for researchers writing about historic figures, or those curious about how property may have been transferred between hands. 

Material in the Public Record Office Victoria archival collection contains words and descriptions that reflect attitudes and government policies at different times which may be insensitive and upsetting

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples should be aware the collection and website may contain images, voices and names of deceased persons.

PROV provides advice to researchers wishing to access, publish or re-use records about Aboriginal Peoples