Register/Recorder/Clerk of Orphans' Court of Armstrong County, Pennsylvania
1st Deputy: Sandra Romanowski
2nd Deputy: Lori Hirst
Armstrong County Courthouse
500 E. Market Street
Kittanning, PA 16201
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.
Due to the Covid19, we are doing marriage licenses, abstractors and estates by appointment. Please call to schedule an appointment.
|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 4:15 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 which deal with real estate.
The staff is available to assist individuals in computer use of locating documents. Employees are not permitted to provide searches nor legal interpretation and 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. If you do not have either of these, you may wish to visit the Mapping Department first. As an individual, you will be able to get copies of recorded documents at $.50 a page (including Plan of Lots), but a large copy (11 x 17) of any Plan of Lots is $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. Birth and Death Records are also included on the website. They are listed separate through the index 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)
|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 2020 through June 30, 2021 is 3.62 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.|
|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.
• 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 not seeking legal counsel. Professionals are recommended.|
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.
If interested in finding a Will with a Will Book Volume and Page, use the index to find the name. It will direct you to the estate number. Use the first four digits of the document number at the top and the numbers near bottom listed as Estate Number. That will be the file number of the estate under which a will, if it has one, will exist. If the estate is before 1950, it will be on microfiche. You may call the office about the estate and we can look it up and tell you how many images are on the microfiche and how much it would cost you. We cannot go through each page to see contents. We can however, look quickly to see if a Will exists. Other than that, the whole file will be copied. Copies on estates are $1.00 a page and must be paid for in advance.
|Fees: 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 (children, parents, siblings)
• 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 (412) 465-3513.|
|Armstrong County does not require separate Inventory forms to be filed, but we do accept them - no fee. Inheritance tax returns are 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) under the index tab at bottom of page. After 1905, those records may be obtained through Pennsylvania Vital Records. Division of Vital Records, 105 Nesbitt Road, New Castle, Pennsylvania 16105 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 .
Also, the local Armstrong County Historical Museum and Genealogical Society, Inc. may be able to assist you. Their number is (724) 548-5707
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. During COVID, we are doing by appointments. Please call in to schedule. Requirements are as follows:|
•Parties must be at least 18 years of age.
•Know you parents birthplaces and occupations.
|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. They can picked up any time before the wedding not necessarily on the third day. Only one party is necessary and may not necessarily be the applicants.|
|You both need to appear in person to complete as well as the other requirements. Marriage duplicates (a certified copy of the marriage license) may be obtained from the county where you APPLIED. The Duplicate cannot be issued until this office receives the portion filled out and returned by the person officiating the ceremony. A marriage Duplicate is $7.50. These may be necessary for social security, name changes as well as your driver's license. You may contact our office and upon payment, it can be mailed to you for your convenience. There is a same day turnaround. Please include self-addressed, stamped envelope.|
There are forms in the office which can be picked up or mailed to request information from an adoption file. The cost to file these forms is $25.00. The form is then presented to the Judge for further action.
File access to Guardianships: Due to the sensitive nature of the information, these records have been sealed and impounded by the Court. Only an attorney of record, the guardian or the person themselves may have access to the file. Anyone else requesting access must submit a request for access.
|Most Current CHANGES TO ORPHANS’ COURT forms can be found at: www.pacourts.us/public-records/public-records-forms|
• Clerical error correction form
• Certificate of Compliance
• Confidential Document Form
• Confidential Information form
• Explanatory Report
• Public Access Policy - Unified Judicial System of PA
• Written Request for Access to Case Records
• abuse victim addendum for confidential information
• limits on public access to Unified Judicial System case records.
Guardianship forms may be located at pacourts.us/forms/for-the-public/orphans-court-forms.
• Helpline for Guardianship Tracking System (877) 227-2672
To view Armstrong County Rules of Court: www.accourts.com