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Probate Court

Location: 401 Cleland Street, Room #140
Phone: (843) 545-3274
Fax: (843) 545-3512
Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday (except for legal holidays)
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 421270, Georgetown, SC 29440-4200
Contact Person: Honorable Waldo Maring, Probate Court Judge

Department Functions:

To provide services (i.e. probating estates, resolving disputes in estates and trusts, handling involuntary commitments for chemical dependency and/or mental illness, obtaining marriage licenses, appointing and supervising guardians and conservators, and approving minor and wrongful death settlements), to the public ever mindful of the sensitive nature of the service provided and the emotional state of the client. Probate court includes the Divisions of Estate, Commitment and Marriage and handles probate estates, commitment hearings, and the issuance or copies of marriage licenses. The office does not write wills or hear criminal cases.

Forms:

Frequently Asked Questions:

Additional Information:

For information on decedents estates, probate forms, guardians, conservators and involuntary commitments, please click on the following link: Georgetown County Probate Court State Website

Probate Court History:

The forerunner to the Probate Court was the Court of the Ordinary. The founding of the Colony in 1670 led to the creation of the original Probate Court. In the court´s early days, the Royal Governors or their secretaries were the only Ordinaries in the province. Beginning in 1778, the S.C. Commons House of Assembly was to appoint Ordinaries for each of the province´s seven court districts. However, appointments did not occur until 1782, due to the presence of British forces in South Carolina. When the last Royal Governor fled after the adoption of the Federal Constitution on June 21, 1788, the General Assembly appointed an Ordinary to fulfill the duties of the office. In 1787, duties of the District Ordinaries transferred to county courts. Within a year of the abolishing of county courts in 1799, the S.C. General Assembly created 24 circuit court districts and appointed Ordinaries in 1815. The S.C. Constitution of 1868 replaced the Court of the Ordinary with the Probate Court. Changes to the S.C. Constitution in 1895 required the Probate Court to be dependent on the General Assembly for funding and legal procedures.

Interesting Facts:

  • Georgetown County holds copies of wills and estate papers from 1865 to the present. For colonial records, see the South Carolina Department of Archives & History or the Charleston County Probate Court.
  • Records of marriage licenses date from 1911, kept by churches before 1911.
  • Probate Court matters are generally conducted without a jury in accordance with state law, all parties have the right to request a jury trial.

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