500 E Market Street
Kittanning, Pennsylvania 16201
Recorder of Deeds
Register of Wills
Clerk of Orphans' Court
FAX: (724) 548-3236
SOLICITOR: James A. Favero, Attorney at law
This office consists of three individual offices: The Recorder of Deeds, Register of Wills and the Orphans Court.
Office Hours are as follows:
Marriage Licenses 8:00 a.m. through 3:00 p.m.
Over the Counter Transactions 8:00 a.m. through 3:45 p.m.
Research 8:00 a.m. through 4:30 p.m.
WE E-RECORD !!! Our current vendors are Simplifile, CSC Recording and ePN.
It is the responsibility of the RECORDER OF DEEDS to record and maintain accurate and complete records related to real estate transactions while protecting them from loss, theft or damage. Documents include land related documents, Veteran’s Discharges, Notary Bonds and Commissions, and Powers of Attorney.
The staff is available to assist individuals in computer use of locating documents. Employees are not permitted to provide searches nor legal interpretation nor advice. With the current system, a search can be done using the first and last name of the individual or by using a book and page. We cannot search by tax map number nor street address. As an individual, you will be able to get copies of publically recorded documents at $.50 a page, but large copies of any Plan of Lots are $3.00 a page.
Real Estate records are available in the office and date back to 1805. Real Estate Records include Mortgages/Deeds/Leases/Right of Ways/Clean and Green/Grantor-Grantee Books/Mortgagor Books/ and Receipt/Release Books. We are in the process of digitizing the Power of Attorney Books. These records can also be found at www.Landex.com. Landex remote is good for frequent searching and Landex webstore is on a pay-per-document basis for the infrequent searcher. There is a fee imposed by Landex for these services.
Recording information: each document is checked for certain criteria. Those items include but are not limited to the following:
- Date of document (must be on or before acknowledgment date)
- Legal description including Muncipality
- Tax Map Number (NOT parcel number) of property. If you do not have one, you may obtain same by contacting our Mapping Department at (724) 548-3234.
- Acknowledgment must include the county, state, name exactly as person signed, notary signature, readable notary stamp and expiration date. Must be dated on or after the execution date of the document and not overlapping.
- Certificate of Residence. Must be completed and signed.
- Multiple documents constituting one transaction must clearly indicate on each document the order of recording. Any re-recording expenses from improper order of recording will be paid by party submitting the documents.
- Corrective documents must include reference to document being corrected and Reason for correction. Any corrective deed must also include a Statement Of Value and a recorded copy of the document being corrected.
- Re-recording of documents must have a new acknowledgment and an explanation as to why they are being re-recorded.
- Multi-locality deeds MUST state the percentages of divisions for local transfer tax.
- Appropriate size - stamped, self addressed envelopes for the return of documents.
- There is a $5.00 rejection for all documents not meeting the above criteria.
- There will be no refunds issued. Please be sure amounts are accurate.
- No documents containing shaded areas will be recorded.
Statements of Value are necessary whenever (1) the full value/consideration is not set forth in the deed (2) when the deed is without consideration or by gift, or (3) a tax exemption is claimed. A Statement of Value is not required if the transfer is wholly exempt from tax based on family relationship (must be stated on the deed) or public utility easement. Statements of Value must also be submitted for Rights of Way and Easements. These forms must be completed in its entirety and submitted in duplicate with a reason for and amount of exemption. One copy of the Statement of Value will be forwarded to the State by our office. If submitting a trust, the copy will not be retained in this office, it will be forwarded to the State as well.
Fees: Recorder of Deed fees.
Common Level Ratio: July 2016 through June 30, 2017 is 2.28 for Armstrong County.
Transfer Tax: One percent is for local/school tax and one percent is for State. These amounts must be presented in separate checks. Filing fee must also be a separate check. All three checks are made payable to Recorder of Deeds.
Military Discharges are not available to the public.
REGISTER OF WILLS is the repository and record manager relating to wills and the probate thereof. WILLS for living persons are not kept on file. A Short Certificate cannot be provided unless and until an estate has been formally opened for Probate.
To Probate a Will: a Petition for Probate and Grant of Letters must be completed including the signature and information of the Attorney of Record and submitted along with:
- an original will and/or codicil;
- an original death certificate,
- the personal appearance of the executor/administrator, witnesses to will (not necessary if will is self-proving) OR notarized Affidavit of subscribing witness/non subscribing witnesses must appear in person.
- renunciations, if necessary, must be notarized if done outside of office.
- Bonds will be required for out of state representatives if not specifically stated in will.
- and two checks – first one for the probate fees (calculated at time of probate and balance due at time of filing of Rev 1500) payable to Armstrong County Register of Wills; and a check in the sum of $75.00 to the Armstrong County Legal Journal for advertising.
Wills may only be probated in the county where the decedent was legally domiciled at the time of death. The staff is not licensed to assist in completing the forms nor giving advice. A complete checklist (Estate Checklist) can be provided to individuals representing estates. Professionals are recommended.
If there was NO WILL, the process is basically the same but Letters of Administration would be issued. The administrator is appointed pursuant to the Intestate Succession laws.
The Register of Wills, if necessary, conducts hearings to determine who should be appointed as Executor or administrator of an estate. Some issues brought to a hearing involve issues like forgery, mental capacity and undue influence. If there is a question as to the appointment of a representative of the estate, the Register of Wills may act in a quasi-judicial capacity and conduct a hearing, take testimony and render a decision on disputed cases prior to opening an estate.
Register of Will fees
The Register of Wills is also agent for the collection of inheritance tax. In Pennsylvania an inheritance tax is imposed upon all assets that transfer upon death. Tax rate is as follows:
- 0% on transfers to spouses and charities
- 4.5% on transfers to “lineal” descendants
- 12% on transfers to siblings
- 15% on transfers to any other person
A discount of 5% of tax due is allowed for whatever portion of the tax is paid within three months of the decedent’s death. The staff is not permitted to calculate the figures. All inheritance tax payments are to be made payable to Register of Wills, Agent. Any additional or specific questions can be directed to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, Greensburg Office, at (724) 832-5452.
Armstrong County does now require separate Inventory forms to be filed. Inheritance tax returns are required to be filed in duplicate unless there is real estate involved, then three copies will be required. Inheritance Tax Returns are due nine months from the date of death before penalty interest begins. Please check with office to see if any additional probate fees are due and to be paid prior to the filing of the Inheritance Tax Return.
Most forms for Register of Wills can be located on-line at pacourts.us/form/for-the-public/orphans-court-forms.
GENEOLOGY: Birth and Death Records are available from 1893 through 1905 (Also on Landex.com). After 1905, those records may be obtained through Pennsylvania Vital Records. Division of Vital Records, 101 S. Mercer Street, Room 401, New Castle, Pennsylvania 16101 or Telephone Number is (724) 656-3100. Forms for application of Birth or Death records after 1905 may be obtained from the Register of Wills Office or on-line at www.health.state.pa.us/vitalrecords .
Marriage records are from October 1885 to present.
Armstrong County Rules of Court can be found at www.accourts.com
CLERK OF ORPHANS’ COURT is responsible for the accuracy and complete maintenance of case files for accounts (estate, trust and guardian) adoptions, appeals, claims against estates, guardianships, minors’ estates, small estate proceedings, trusts, wrongful death actions as well as other miscellaneous filings.
Anyone wishing to marry in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, must make application for a Pennsylvania license through any Pennsylvania county. Marriage applications are taken daily from 8:00 a.m. through 3:00 p.m. Requirements are as follows:
- Parties must be at least 18 years of age.
- Both parties must appear in person together.
- Valid Photo ID
- Know their Social Security Numbers – no card is necessary.
- $66.00 CASH fee
- Certified divorce decrees for ALL marriages
- Original death certificate if death ended marriage
- There is a three day waiting period, including the day of application. The license is then good for a period of sixty days.
Marriage licenses shall be picked up on the third day after applying. Please note: if you are getting married on Saturday, you will want to apply no later than the Wednesday before, so that you can pick it up on Friday.
Marriage duplicates (a certified copy of the marriage license) may be obtained from the county where you applied. Armstrong County charges $7.50 for this document. (Request for Marriage Duplicates) These may be necessary for social security names changes as well as driver’s licenses. Click here for an on-line form for marriage application. You may fill in the form. It will only begin the process. You both still need to appear in person to complete as well as the other requirements. You will be assigned a number, please bring this number with you when you come in to apply.
RECENT CHANGES HAVE BEEN MADE TO ORPHANS' COURT RULES. PLEASE REVIEW THESE CHANGES AT www.accourts.com
Guardianship forms may be located at pacourts.us/forms/for-the-public/orphans-court-forms.
To view Armstrong County Rules of Court: www.accourts.com