Register of Wills/Clerk of the Orphans Court
The Temporary surcharge portion of the Judicial Computer Project/Access to Justice/Criminal Justice Enhancement/Office of Attorney General (JCP/ATJ/CJEA/OAG) fee of $21.25 has now been re-instated by the Legislature. The fee is now back to $40.25 as of November 3, 2023.
Marriage Licenses can now be done in person or by Skype or appointment. When appearing in person you must be in the office by 4:00 if you already submitted the application online or 3:30 if filling out the application in the office.
If requesting a SKYPE appointment or applying for an in person appointment please follow the directions by clicking below.
The Register of Wills Office is responsible for the probating of wills, appointment of a representative and issuing of short certificates to handle a decedent’s estate, acceptance of inheritance tax payments, and all other documents related to a decedent’s estate.
The Clerk of the Orphans’ Court is the filing office for petitions before the Orphans’ Court including but not limited to guardianships, adoptions, and the issuing of marriage licenses.
The public can access Register of Wills and most Clerk of Orphans’ Court Records filed from 2004 to present and obtain copies for general use or certified copies to meet specific needs at the public terminals in the office Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 AM and 4:30 PM or through two websites:
- Landex Remote: Here the customer sets up an account and then uses the money to draw down for complete access to the records and copies.
- Landex Webstore: Here the customer has free access to the indices but is charged a fee to download a document for viewing and / or printing.
- IQS Infodex/EFilm Reader: Marriage licenses from October 1885 through August 2004 can be searched and applications viewed for free. Click on Infodex and scroll to the date of the application. Remember licenses are valid for 60 days after application. After finding license number, click on "Go to Document" . In "book number" place the volume number for your time frame. In "page", enter the license number for your search.
- The Estate Indexes from 1875 to 2004 can now be found on the IQS Infodex above. These appear under "Select Volume". Choose the years and the first letter of the last name of the deceased. Under "Find name" enter last name and first name of the deceased. Click "Search". Scroll down the page and additional pages for the name of the deceased. Names are in order of the year the estate was opened. Index will give the estate number and information on whether there is a will. To view the documents in the estate file, you can call the Records Center at 570-825-1863 and request the file pulled from storage and scanned into the Landex software. These can then be viewed from online in Landex Remote or in the office. You can also go to the Records Center at 57 Young Street, Hanover Township, PA and review the file there. All estates after 2004 are available on Landex.
- The Deed Indexes prior to August 1993 and deeds prior to 1968 can also be found on Infodex. Searching and viewing are free. There is a fee to copy.
- Records prior to 2004 must be accessed through the office. Please call 570-825-1641 for information.
- Certified copies must be obtained through the office. Please call 570-825-1641 for information.
- Adoption Records are not available to the public. For questions regarding adoptions please call 570-822-0764. All requests for data on adoptions granted in Luzerne County must be made in writing to the address below:
Act 101 Coordinator
Luzerne County Courthouse
Bernard C. Brominski Building
113 West North Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711
Please provide as many details as possible, such as full name at birth, birth date, adoption date (or approximate time period) and full name following adoption.
- Guardianship records, except the Final Decree and Docket, filed after January 6, 2018 are only available to the interested parties in the case.
- Orphans’ Court records, with the exception of marriage licenses, filed after January 6, 2018 are not accessible remotely, only in the office.
OTHER RESOURCE LINKS:
- Audits and Account Schedule 2024
- Audits and Accounts Schedule 2023
- Certificate of Notice 1-1-20
- Fees to Open Estate
- GTS Instructions
- Guardian Checklist
- GUARDIAN INVENTORY 1-1-2023
- Guardian Inventory for Minor 7-18
- GUARDIAN REPORT OF ESTATE 1-1-2023
- GUARDIAN REPORT OF PERSON 1-1-2023
- Guardians Key Points
- Guardianship Expert Report
- Guardianship Notice of Filing
- Inventory 1-1-20
- Notice of Estate Administration 1-1-20
- Oath of Non-Subscribing Witness 1-1-20
- Oath of Subscribing Witness 1-1-20
- Orphans Court Rules June 2019 Full copy
- Petition for Grant of Letters Estates (PDF)
- Register Fees effective 1-1- 2021
- Renunciation 1-1-20
- Status Report 1-1-20