Probate records

The heirship specified in the civil code of 1811, was, with minor adjustments, valid till 1950. A procedural rule issued in 1854 instructed district courts to execute probate proceedings through an appointed notary's office. The court's duty was to allocate and summon heirs so that they could submit their inheritance applications. The heirs were obliged to claim their right at the court and to prove the legal ground, which could be a heritage contract (usually marriage contract), testament, or the law. The probate proceeding was completed with the issuance of an inheritance certificate, in which the notary specified the heirs and their shares. Intestate inheritance succession specified 4 classes of heirs-at-law: 1) children and their descendants, 2) parents and their descendants, 3) grandparents and their descendants, and 4) grandparents. The surviving spouse was entitled to at least one-quarter of the estate in the case of the first class, or at least one-half of the estate in case of the 2nd and 3rd classes.  

Since 1898, special probate registers were maintained for this purpose. These books are arranged chronologically and they record the process and final decision. 

  • Samples

  • Faq

 Probate register 1912  (District archive Klatovy, German language)

Entry 273 in this probate register from district court Nýrsko, records the probate proceeding of the late Wenzel Hackl. His estate was used to pay off creditors.

English translation of this record

 Probate proceeding 1960  (District court Bruntál, Czech language)

This is an example of a confirmation about the acquisition of inheritance of the estate of the deceased, Antonie Mareczková, issued by the state notary's office in Bruntál. Antonie died without a will and her heirs-at-law were to be her husband, Jan Mareczek, and daughter, Anna Adamková. But, because her daughter emigrated from Czechoslovakia before the communist persecution, her share was confiscated by the state. 

English translation of this record

WHY were they collected?  To record the findings of probate proceedings
WHEN were they collected?   1850 to present
WHO collected the records? District courts
WHAT information can be found? Name of deceased, date of his death, heirs
In which ARCHIVES are they held?

District archives

In which archive FILES can they be found?  District courts
LANGUAGE of records Czech, German
AVAILABILITY  Usually preserved
What must be KNOWN before getting started? Name, jurisdiction, date of death
Czech expression Pozůstalostní rejstřík (plural = Pozůstalostní rejstříky)
German expression Register für Verlassenschaftsabhandlung