N.H. Political Races Down Ballot: What Does The Register Of Probate Do? | New Hampshire Public Radio

N.H. Political Races Down Ballot: What Does The Register Of Probate Do?

Oct 21, 2020

Court house in Nashua.
Credit Court house in Nashua.

New Hampshire voters will choose a number of local political leaders, from county officers to state reps, on Nov. 3.

Every Friday leading up to the election on Weekly N.H. News Roundup, we talk about one of these down-ballot offices, from what powers they hold, to how they impact your daily life.

This time we talked with Natch Greyes, an attorney with the New Hampshire Municipal Association, about the register of probate. 

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Register of probate in brief: Preservation of files that “have the potential for historical significance.” Before 2011, the register of probate oversaw litigation related to wills, estates, and trusts, among other issues in probate court. In 2011, an overhaul of the judicial system delegated these responsibilities to county clerks. You can read about this change, and the resulting debate about the role of the register of probate, in this article from 2018 by Brian Early in Seacoast Online.

This interview has been edited lightly for clarity. 

Who typically runs for this position?

Natch Greyes: People who work with wills or trusts and estates, those type of people are really interested in this because it has the potential to do more. But it just doesn't at the moment.

How long is the term?

Natch Greyes: Two years. 

Is this position ever controversial?

Natch Greyes: Some candidates run on the platform that we should hav a constitutional amendment to get rid of the position, and some candidates run on the platform that we need to give this position more authority to work within the court system and save any files that have historical significance.