Using the Probate Registry
One of the roles of the Supreme Court of South Australia
is to make orders in relation to the validity of a Will
of a deceased person, appoint an executor or an administrator,
and the administration of a deceased estate. The Probate
Registry is the registry of the court which deals with applications
for grants of probate or administration and other related
matters. The registry keeps a register of probates and administrations
granted by the court.
The Probate Registry manages this work for the court and
maintains the records.
There are three types of grants: Probate, Letters of Administration
with the Will annexed, and Letters of Administration.
Once the legal process has been completed the public can
access these documents and Wills in particular are a useful
resource for family historians. As a rule of thumb the older
the Will the more informative it will be be as early Wills
went to great lengths to clearly identify the beneficiaries.
The Probate Registry at 1 Gouger Street Adelaide (pictured)
holds the index of all Wills to 1999 in the public area.
Those seeking a Will can extract the references from the
index and order the Will which will be available about three
days later. You can opt to have the document posted to you.
You can access a poor quality fiche version of the index
at the State Library and the SA Genealogy & Heraldry
If you require a Will from 2000 you need to approach the
counter staff at the Probate Registry with the full name
and date of death in the case of a common name. You cannot
access a Will until Probate has been granted and the assets
You cannot view the Will before purchase and so you may
purchase a document that is of little help in your research.
If you live away from Adelaide application can be made with
a SSAE envelope and the reply will advise availability and
request fee payment.
Sometimes the index will have PT as the reference which
means that the Public
25 Franklin Street Adelaide holds the Will. Sometimes a
search will reveal the Will is not available. This usually
indicates that the document was passed on to another jurisdiction
who had an interest (such as another probate registry outside
of the state). This occurs rarely and before the days of