Probate Court

Probate Judge Keith W. Kornahrens and his staff

The Honorable Keith W. Kornahrens, Chief Judge

Mission Statement
To serve the people of Berkeley County in a professional, proficient, and courteous manner with their needs in the areas of the Probate Court, including estates, marriage licenses, mental health, alcohol and drug addiction, guardians, conservators, and minor settlements.

The Berkeley County Probate Court handles a variety of Probate responsibilities, including:


In the event of a death, bring both the will and the death certificate of the person who has passed away to the Probate Court within thirty days of death. If no will exists, the closest relative should come in person with the death certificate to open the estate.

Guardians and Conservators

If an adult is "incapacitated" as a result of mental and/or physical impairment, and unable to make decisions for their health and welfare a Guardian may be appointed to make such decisions for them. If they are unable to make financial decisions or manage their financial affairs, a Conservator may be appointed to handle their finances. The appropriate Petitions are available through our Forms Section on the web site or in our office. After receiving the necessary medical reports and visitors report, a Guardian Ad Litem will be appointed to represent the alleged Incapacitated person and a hearing will be held to determine if an applicant should be appointed.


If a minor receives more than $10,000.00, a Conservator must be appointed to manage their funds until they attain age 18 years. The appropriate Petitions to begin such proceedings are usually prepared by an attorney.

Requirements For A Marriage License in South Carolina

Spouse and Spouse must appear together and file a written application. Both parties must present their Social Security Card AND a valid driver's license, S.C. identification card, military ID, a current passport, or VISA. The cost of a marriage license is $50.00 (CASH ONLY). There is a 24-hour waiting period after the application is filed before the license can be picked up and the parties can be married.
Males and females must be at least 16 years old to apply for a marriage license. Any applicant under the age of 18 must bring an original birth certificate or a certified copy of the long form. The parent or legal guardian of the minor applicant must appear with the minor to present identification and sign a form consenting to the marriage. If the minor’s legal parents were divorced, a certified copy of the divorce decree is also required.

Therapeutic Division

If a person is considered to be mentally ill or addicted to alcohol or drugs, court ordered treatment may be required. If the person is in imminent danger of harm to self or others, an application should be made at the Berkeley County Mental Health Center. If it is not an emergency the application should be made at BCMH Center for mental illness or Kennedy Center for drug/alcohol addiction. The Court will issue an Order of Detention for the alleged mentally ill person or addicted person to be examined by a local emergency room or mental health physician if the person is deemed in imminent danger by BCMH. Otherwise a hearing will be held in the Probate Court to determine if the person should be ordered to receive treatment. These hearings are held once per month.

BCMH Center is located at 403 Stoney Landing Road, Moncks Corner, SC, 843-761-8282. The Kennedy Center is located at 306 Airport Drive, Moncks Corner, SC 843-719-3000.