Register Of Wills

Register of Wills

Deborah L. Bates


Jennifer Noble – Chief Deputy

Arlene Bender

Karen Yamialkowski

Marjorie Hiller

Contact Information

Wayne County Courthouse Annex
925 Court St
Honesdale PA 18431-1996
Phone: (570) 253-5970 Ext. 4040

Hours are 8:30 to 4:30pm Monday through Friday

No probates accepted after 4:00pm

No filings or payments accepted after 4:15pm


The Register of Wills has jurisdiction over the probate of wills and granting of letters to a personal representative. Acting as the Commonwealth’s Agent, the register is responsible for collecting the Pennsylvania inheritance tax and filing the inheritance tax return.

The Register of Wills is responsible for maintaining, preserving and providing public access to records relating to probate including wills and letters of administration; estate inventories; inheritance tax records; administrator bonds; executor and administrator oaths; and various reports. The Register is authorized to issue subpoenas, citations, administer oaths and affirmations, and has the power to revoke letters of administration.

The Register of Wills collects the Inheritance Tax for the State. If tax is paid within 3 months of the date of death the estate gets 5% abatement. The tax is at par for 9 months from the date of death and after 9 months penalty must be paid.

A Will is a written document which directs the manner of distribution of anything owned at death by the writer of the will. The will should name an executor whose job it is to probate or file the will after death and carry out its instructions. Making a will is one of the most important things a person does.

To make a will in Pennsylvania, the person making the will must be of sound mind and 18 years of age or older. Everyone, wealthy or of modest means, should have a will. This guarantees that your lifetime accumulations are given to those persons or institutions that you wish to benefit.

Contrary to what some believe, a will does not get filed with the register during the lifetime of the maker. It is filed or probated by the register only after death occurs. This permits the maker to change or rewrite his will as circumstances require and to keep its term confidential during his lifetime. After a will is presented to the Register of Wills for probate it then becomes public record.

Pennsylvania intestate law controls the distribution of an estate when there is no will. The law does not take into consideration the special needs of any individual or family where the one dying has left no will. Furthermore in the absence of a will the register must appoint an administrator who may have to post a bond, which causes additional expense in the settlement of the estate.

Fee Bill

Office of the Register of Wills
Wayne County, Pennsylvania
Effective August 1, 2014    Acts 113 & 126 of 2014
Letters of Administration or Testamentary

Estates not exceeding $1,000.00       20.00
$1,000.00 to 5,000                  30.00
$5000 to 10,000                  40.00
$10,000 to 20,000                  50.00
$20,000 to 30,000                  60.00
$30,000 to 40,000                  70.00
$40,000 to 50,000                  80.00
$50,000 to 75,000                  90.00
$75,000 to 100,000                  100.00
Each additional $100.000 or fraction thereof                  30.00
Accounting (Informal)                  10.00
Affidavits                  10.00
Automation Fee                  10.00
Bond                  10.00
Caveat                  10.00
Citations                  10.00
Commissions to take oath                  10.00
Codicil, first page     12.00
    Each additional page    2.00
Copies     .50
Court Order                 10.00
Death Certificate    3.00
Family Settlement Agreement                  20.00
Filing Certified or Exemplified copies Estates (first page)     20.00
    Each page other than the first    3.00
Filing Certification of Inheritance Tax (paid in another County)                 10.00
Inventory Debts & Deductions                 10.00
Inheritance Tax Return                 10.00
Inheritance Tax Return – Supplemental                 10.00
Inventory                 10.00
Issuing certified copies of instruments    10.00
    Each additional page    3.00
Issuing exemplified copies of instruments (first page)                 15.00
    Each additional page    5.00
Probate of Will, first page                 10.00
    Each additional page    2.00
Releases & Disclaimers    3.00
Renunciations    5.00
Short Certificates    5.00
Tax Waivers, per set    5.00
JCS charge on filing of first petition                 35.50


Petition For Grant Of letters

Oath Of Subscribing Witness

Oath Of Non-Subscribing Witness

Estate Information Sheet


Oath of Witness(es) to Will Executed by Mark

Notice of Estate Administration Rule 10.5

Certification of Notice Rule 10.5

Status Report Rule 10.6


Inheritance Tax Forms


Bond Form

Bond Agent Info

Waiver of Fiduciary Bond

Affidavit and Release of Beneficiary

Personal Representative Change of Contact Information

Notice of Policy for Estate Bonds

Notice of Policy for Personal Representative Change of Contact Information

Affidavit by Pro Se Petitioner