Find a Will / Estate File in Manitoba Court records

The Archives of Manitoba holds Manitoba estate files, including wills, for deceased individuals whose estates were probated in a Manitoba court. (Probate is the process of legally establishing the validity of a will before a judicial authority.)

To find a will filed in Manitoba, you will need to find the estate file. An estate file contains the documents that a court in Manitoba uses to disperse a deceased person's possessions, whether the person died with a will (testate) or without a will (intestate). Most estate files contain a copy of the will, if it exists. Prior to 1973, legal instruments such as grants of probate and letters of administration were filed separately in probate books. After 1973, these instruments were kept on the estate file.

Estate files are transferred to the Archives of Manitoba after 10 years (regional courts) or 20 years (Winnipeg). Contact the Manitoba Courts for access to estate files that have not yet been transferred to the Archives.

To find an estate file at the Archives of Manitoba, follow these three steps:

  1. Search an index.
  2. Find the location code.
  3. Request to view the original record.

Step 1: Search an index

Note: for estates probated in 1984, both indexes may need to be consulted.

Step 1a: Estate Files, 1870 to 1984

Search the Manitoba Estate File Index for the name of the deceased individual.

  • Check the year to ensure that you have found the right person. Note that the date of death and the date of probate may not be the same, although usually they are close.
  • Search different spellings if you aren’t finding someone.
  • Note the file number and the court. Note the book and folio number(s) if they are provided.
  • Go to Step 2 to find the location code.

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Step 1b: Estate files, 1984-present

Search the Court Registry for the name of the deceased individual.

  • Limit your search by QB Probate.
  • Note the file number and use the codes below to determine the court.
  • Go to Step 2 to find the location code.

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Step 2. Find the location code

Step 2a. I found a file number: Find the location code for the estate file

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Step 2b: I found book and folio number(s): find the location code(s) for the related probate book(s).

If you found a reference to one or more books and folio numbers, it means there is related information in another record.  Probate books include various instruments issued by the Court authorizing the administration of the estate of a deceased person.  These might include: grant of probate (a transcribed copy of the will may be included), letters of administration and special grants.

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Step 3: Request to view the original record

The original records can be viewed in the Archives Research Room. You will need to request the record(s) from the archival vaults.

  • If the location code you have found begins with a G followed by several numbers and no hyphens (e.g. G 1234), the record is stored at the Archives and can be requested and viewed the same day in the Archives Research Room.
  • If the location code you have found begins with a letter followed by a hyphen and several numbers (e.g. G-1-2-3) or it begins with a Q (e.g. Q 1234), the record is stored at our offsite storage facility and has a two-day retrieval time.  Read more about ordering records in advance.

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