About The Office

The office of the Montgomery County Register of Wills was established in September 1784.
Section 34 of the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776 requires that a "register's office for the probate of wills, and granting letters of administration, ... shall be kept in each city and county."  The Constitution of 1874 abolished the Register's Court and formally established  the Orphans' Court making the Register of Wills the Clerk of the Orphans' Court.  Hence the current official title of the office:  Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans' Court.
The Register's office is the first step in the process of determining if a will is valid and appoints the Executor. The Register can hear testimony on any challenges to a will and makes a decision accepting or rejecting the application. If there is no will, the Register generally appoints the next of kin as Administrator; and if there is a dispute among the next of kin, determines who will best serve to execute the will. 

The office is also responsible for the issuing of marriage licenses; accepts adoption filings; and, safeguards the records of the Orphans’ Court.

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