Virtual Probate Process
All Probate proceedings are being held virtually through Zoom with a scheduled appointment.
We do not have electronic filing, meaning wet signatures are required for all documents.
Documentation required prior to scheduling a virtual probate proceeding:
- Decedent's Original Will and Codicil (if applicable)
- Completed Petition for Grant of Letters- including the value of the Estate and the number of Short Certificates needed-Do Not Sign Petition, this will happen during virtual appointment at Probate
- Witness Oaths if Will is not a self-proved Will -please see forms section for the specific oath needed
- Original Death Certificate
- Photo ID of Executor/ Administrator
- Notarized Renunciations (if applicable)
- Estate Information Sheet
- Payment of Fees are due at time of Probate- Fee Schedule
- Provide all documentation required above via email firstname.lastname@example.org, via mail (USPS, Fed-Ex, or UPS) or by dropping them off in our office
Register of Wills -Berks County Services Center
633 Court Street- 2nd. Floor
Reading, PA 19601
Monday - Friday
- Once received, the documentation will be reviewed, assigned a File number and fees set
- You will then be asked to contact our office at 610-478-6600 to schedule the probate appointment via Zoom (Computer, Tablet or Smartphone equipped with a camera and microphone are required)
- All Original documents and payment shall be mailed or dropped off to the Register of Wills Office once the Executor has been sworn in. After receipt of payment and a full review of all Original Documents, Grant of Letters, Short Certificates and associated documents will be issued.
- A completed petition for probate and grant of letters (forms available online, in the Register's office & County Bar Association)
- An original will, codicil, and/or any other related documents giving direction as to how property should be disposed upon death
- A death certificate
- Appearance of executor(s)
- Witnesses to will (not necessary if will is self-proven)
- Sworn English translation if will is written in a foreign language
- A check or cash to cover probate fees (based on value of estate)
It is the duty and obligation of the personal representative (executor or administrator) to protect estate assets. It may be necessary to review many documents (insurance policies, bills, motor vehicle titles, employee benefit information, business agreements, recent income tax returns, medical or disability insurances, bonds, stocks, and numerous other sources).
The Register of Wills and staff are not licensed to give legal advice. Professional executors (attorneys and trust departments) may receive no greater compensation than an individual who serves as a personal representative. They could save time and money in the long run due to their knowledge and experience.
By leaving no will, your property may be inherited by relatives you do not want to share in your estate.
This information has been made available to you as a public service by the Berks County Register of Wills' office. Responses are general and individual facts in a specific case may alter routine procedures or involve other laws not referred to here.