Register of Wills


AS OF November 30, 2020




Please contact our office to set up an Appointment at: 717.337.9826 or email:

A secure DROP-OFF BOX is available outside the courthouse doors (under the roof area) to save time of coming inside the building during work-day hours.  We will check the box throughout the day. Please use binder clips and/or envelopes to secure that your work is in order.

If you need to just stop by to check your Attorney box or sign for documents (with no envelope), you will still need an appointment.   Please follow the floor lines posted in the courthouse main lobby to enter the Register & Recorder office waiting lane [located along the service elevator wall] in the courthouse lobby, and wait for your turn to enter the Register & Recorder office. As you approach our Entrance door, kindly STOP TO WAIT for a staff member to prompt you to enter. 

PUBLIC TERMINAL SEARCHING: (title searchers, attorneys & staff and public):

Public terminals are available for public searching in the lobby, please contact the Prothonotary's office to schedule an appointment.  No public terminal searching is available in the Register & Recorder Office at this time.   You will be able to have access to Register & Recorder records, Prothonotary Civil records, and Tax Services records on the public terminals.

Estate Probates will be available BY APPOINTMENT.

VIRTUAL ESTATES ARE STILL AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME FOR ATTORNEY REPRESENTED ESTATES.   Please contact our office to set up a virtual estate appointment at 717.337.9826, or email or

 Please follow these helpful steps to probate in the office:

 ·        Contact the Register of Wills Office to schedule a specific appointment to probate.   Tele:  717.337.9826 

 ·        Plan to appear in person with only directly-related parties  (executor, administrators, non-subscribing witnesses) to minimize the amount of people to be in our office lobby.  Those not directly-related to the estate should wait outside the courthouse building.

Thank you in advance for your understanding as we try to format procedures that work for the safety of everyone. ​


About Us

Register of Wills office has records dating back to 1800 when Adams County was formed, before that the county was a part of York County. Register of Wills office is a resource for genealogical information.  Responsibilities are Jurisdiction over the Probate of Wills, Granting of Letters after a person dies.  Letters of Administration are issued, if there is no Will. The Register is an agent for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s, Department of Revenue and collects Inheritance Tax for the State.

Effective September 1, 2016, Pursuant to the newly revised Orphans' Court Rules, as of today, only the standardized forms provided by the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania will be accepted. This is in regards to Rule 10.5 and Rule 10.6.

Effective July 27, 2016, Our office will only accept REV-1500’s that are dated January, 2016 (01-16). The date of the form can be found on the first page in the upper left-hand corner. If an inheritance tax return is submitted to us for filing with a different form date we are required to reject it per the Department of Revenue. This information was provided to Karen Heflin, Register of Wills at the annual Register of Wills/Clerk of Orphans’ Court Convention.​ 

Effective May 2, 2016, I request that the address and telephone/cell number for any estate fiduciary be referenced on the Petition for Letters.  This will ensure a way to contact the fiduciary should the estate become unrepresented by counsel during the administration process. Also, our office will begin to keep an original death certificate at the time of probate.  We will not make copies or provide this information as public record.  The death certificate will be kept in the file as part of original estate documents. Thanking you in advance for your cooperation.
Hours and Holidays:​
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.**
Monday - Friday ​
** Please note that 4:00 p.m. will be the cut-off to accept probates and inheritance tax payments. If you have a special circumstance, please call or email the office. Thank you.** (Posted: June 19, 2018)​
Contact Information:
Karen Heflin
Register of Wills 
County of Adams​
Register of Wills​
117 Baltimore Street​
Room 102​
Gettysburg, PA 17325
Phone: 717-337-9826
Fax:​ 717-334-1758

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