Pickens County Probate Court is dedicated to providing the citizens of the county, personal
service with the compassion, fairness, and professionalism that they deserve. In addition, we
want to continue to prepare and safeguard complete and accurate records for the future.
all subject matter related to estates of decedents
protection of minors and incapacitated persons
trusts, inter-vivos or testamentary
issuance of marriage licenses
involuntary commitment of persons suffering from mental illness, mental retardation,
alcoholism, drug addiction, active TB
wrongful death or action under the survival statute
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Probate?
A: The root of the word Probate is "to prove." Probate means to examine proof of whether the
decedent left a valid Will. Informal Probate admits the will as valid without a hearing. Formal
Probate requires a hearing to confirm the validity of the will.
Q: How do I know if I need to go to Probate Court?
A: If a person dies owning any assets that need to be administered, you will need to contact
Q: What if the deceased did not have a Will?
A: When someone dies without a will, his or her estate is called "intestate". In this case, the
law determines who inherits and who can be appointed the personal representative informally.
Q: How do I know if Pickens County is the correct Probate Court for me to call?
A: If the deceased was a permanent resident of Pickens County, was a non-resident holding
property in Pickens County, or had a right to take legal action in the county, the estate must
be processed through Pickens County Probate Court.
Q: Do I need an attorney to probate.
A: You may use the assistance of an attorney to probate informally or you may complete the
paper work yourself and meet with the Judge acting as your own attorney. For formal probate
or appointment, the services of an attorney are required. This involves the filing of a
Summons/Petition/filing fee and service of the pleadings on the interested parties. A hearing
will then be set for presentation of testimony.
Q: How does a personal representative get appointed?
A: If you are acting as your own attorney, obtain initial paperwork from the Probate Court
along with an explanation. If you have employed the services of an attorney, he/or she will
take care of this for you.
Procedures for Involuntary Commitment of the Mentally Ill
or Chemically Dependent Person
Q: What is an involuntary commitment?
A: If you have personal knowledge of a person who suffers from mental illness or chemical
dependence (alcohol or drug addiction) who is endangering himself or others and is unwilling
to get help, the person may need involuntary commitment at a facility for treatment.
If the need arises for an EMERGENCY COMMITMENT please contact the mental health
center in Pickens located at 314 W. Main Street with phone #878-6830.
DO NOT COME TO THE PROBATE COURT FIRST. GO TO THE MENTAL HEALTH
CENTER BEFORE COMING TO PROBATE COURT.
The Probate Court can only assist after the Mental Health Center has done an initial
screening. If the person is willing to be examined, a Detention Order is not needed. If the
person refuses to be examined, then you may bring the necessary documents issued to you
from the Mental Health Center to the Probate Court to seek an Order of Detention. This Order
allows the law enforcement officers to pick up the person and transport him/her to a doctor or
emergency room to be examined. Only a medical doctor can determine whether or not
commitment is necessary.
Q: What about emergencies on evenings, weekends or holidays?
A: If you have an emergency situation that occurs outside normal working hours, you need to
call The Mental Health Center at 878-6830. A person will answer the Crisis Line and advise
you of the procedures in order to get help for the person in need of assistance. They will call
the Probate Judge when needed.
Marriage License Requirements
Both parties must appear together to apply for a marriage license.
All Applicants must present ORIGINAL Social Security Card or an ORIGINAL legal document showing his/her proper name and social security number. Name on social security information must match identification.
All applicants must have identification
$35.00 Cash fee (We cannot accept checks)
Additional Requirements for Under Age 18
Must be at least 16 years old
Certified copy of birth certificate, that must be left with the Probate Court permanently
Parent's consent (parent must appear in Probate Court with proper Identification to link him/her with the Minor)
There is a twenty-four (24) hour waiting period in South Carolina from the time you
apply for the marriage license until the time the license can be issued. After the
waiting period has expired one of the contracting parties must return to pick up the
Once the Marriage License has been issued, the Marriage Ceremony must be performed
somewhere in the state of South Carolina.
The Probate Court Judge in Pickens County performs marriage ceremonies Monday-Friday for
a $25.00 Cash fee.
You must call for an appointment.