District Court (Third District : Summit County) Probate case files
These records are housed in the Utah State Archives' permanent storage room.
Scope and Content
Probate case files from the Third District Court in Summit County primarily involve the probate of estates for deceased persons and guardianship for minors and incompetent persons. Probate is judicial oversight of property in transition. Probate of estates is the process by which a deceased person's property is identified and maintained, his debts and taxes paid, and then remaining property distributed to beneficiaries as specified in a will or as required by law for persons who die intestate (without a will). In guardianship cases probate is the establishment of a guardian for minors or incompetent adults who hold property that needs management. In addition to probate these case files also include name changes and some adoptions.
Utah's Territorial Assembly established original jurisdiction over the probate of estates and the guardianship of incompetent persons with county probate courts in 1852 (An Act in Relation to the Judiciary. Acts, Resolutions, and Memorials passed by the First Annual, and Special Sessions of the Legislative Assembly. Great Salt Lake City, 1852, Brigham H. Young, Printer. pp. 38-48). That jurisdiction transferred to the probate divisions of District Courts when County Probate Courts were abolished at statehood.
The probate process includes three parts. First, a petitioner must file with the court the documents necessary to have the court appoint a representative. Documents relating to this process include wills, petitions, letters of administration, bonds, etc., and a court order appointing an administrator, executor, or guardian. Second, the appointed representative does all that is necessary to manage the property through the period of transition. Documents filed here might include a court order appointing appraisers, notices to creditors, estate inventories, various kinds of financial statements, receipts, bills, and the court-appointed representative's final report. Finally, when all requirements have been met, such as all bills paid or a minor has become of age, the court mandates a final settlement and releases the representative from any further responsibility.
The Territorial Legislature made provision for formal adoptions in 1884 and assigned jurisdiction to County Probate Courts (Compiled Laws of Utah, vol. II, 1888, part 5, chapter 4). Adoption case files include a formal petition, documents supporting the petition and the court's final decree. In this series adoption case files begin in 1893. Whereas early adoptions were open to the public and sometimes published in the newspaper, adoptions later became private. Most adoption records in this series are closed to public access (see access restrictions note). In addition to probate and adoption, case files this series also include official name changes.
Numerical by case number.
Early case files (pre-1900) are arranged by case number, but the numbers were apparently assigned after the fact and are not chronological. The numbering of cases was started over sometime around the turn of the twentieth century.
Probate case files from the District Court (Third District : Summit County), Series 1342, more fully document court proceedings as they relate to individual cases.
Orders and decrees from the District Court (Fourth District : Summit County), Series 17540, contains the complete case files cited throughout these record books.
Probate register index from the District Court (Third District : Summit County), Series 26616, serves as an index to the probate case files.
Probate registers of action from the District Court (Third District : Summit County), Series 26618, contains a summary of actions for each case in the case files.
Inventory and appraisement record books from the District Court (Fourth District : Summit County), Series 27437, contains the complete case files cited throughout these record books.
Record books from Summit County (Utah). Probate Court, Series 27442, contains the complete case files for matters cited at the end of Record Book D.
Case files were removed from the court office in Coalville and transferred to the Utah State Archives in October, 2007.
Probate proceedings are public records. However adoption records, which are filed throughout the probate case files, require the permission of the Third District Court until 100 years have passed.
Cite the Utah State Archives and Records Service, the creating agency name, the series title, and the series number.
This series was processed by Jim Kichas in April 2010.