Estate records contain information filed by the executor of the decedent's estate. The estate records are filed in Probate Court. Records are used for genealogy research, title-searching property, and for other legal matters. These records are open to the public. However Mental Health records or files containing lunacy information is confidential and is not available to the public.
Recorded Dates of Estate Files
Estate records are filed from 1900 to the present time. Records from 1900 until 1972 can be viewed on the microfilm rolls. Records from 1973 until October 2000 can be viewed on the microfiche jackets. All records filed after October 2000 are scanned and can be viewed on the public computer. Each file is assigned an estate number. An estate can be researched by the decedent's name or the estate number. The estate number can be found for an estate filed previous to 1983 by using the index books. The clerk can access any records filed after 1983 on the computer.
Public Access to the Estate Files
The public is welcome to visit our office to view and make copies of the estate records. Our staff is available to assist in making copies. There are several microfilm machines available in the office. Also there are three (3) public computers available for the most recent files. Copies are $0.50 per copy. We accept dac cards, checks, and cash for copies made within the office.
Request for Copies by Mail
For your convenience, copies can be requested by mail. A letter stating the decedent's name, year of death, and the specific documents being requested is needed. The charge for the search fee is $3.00. Once the request and fee is received a bill letter will be forwarded for the cost of the copies. Upon receiving the fee for the requested copies, the copies are forwarded along with a receipt. You may use the form to order copies by mail. Click here for the form.
Richland County Premier Online Data Service
The Probate Court also offers access to estate records online, through our Subscription Management System. All records filed after October 2000 are available to be viewed. Only interested parties are approved to view the estate records. As of July 1, 2015 the daily rate is $2.55; weekly rate is $6.60; monthly rate is $22.60, and the yearly rate is $108.48.
Agencies to Assist with Estate Records
The South Carolina State Archives is located at 8301 Parklane Road, Columbia, South Carolina, 29223. Their office can be reached by phone at (803) 896-6100 or at scdah.sc.gov .The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) keeps the death certificates on file. There office is located at 2600 Bull Street, Columbia, South Carolina, 29201. Their office can be reached by phone at (803) 898-3630 or at www.scdhec.net.