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Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans' Court

Main - Fee Bill - Forms - Genealogy/Searches - Glossary - Inheritance TaxMarriage Licenses - Orphans' Court - Public Service - Wills - Public Access - e-Filing

Head-shot of Register of Wills, Don Petrille

We Have Moved!
Register of Wills/Clerk of the Orphans' Court can now be found on the 6th Floor of the Administration Building (three floors up from old location).

Donald Petrille, Jr., Esquire is the elected Register of Wills and Clerk of Orphans' Court.

Donald Petrille, Jr., Esquire took office on January 3, 2012 and is the 54th person to serve as Bucks County's Register of Wills and the 58th person to perform the duties of Clerk of Orphans' Court. Mr. Petrille brings experience in the private practice of law, mainly representing small businesses and planning and administering estates, to the office. An active member in the community, Mr. Petrille is working to modernize and streamline procedures in the office. He welcomes the public's input.

The Register of Wills' principal duties include probating wills and accepting for filing all documents necessary to complete the administration of a decedent's estate. If a person dies without a will, the Register, upon petition, will appoint an administrator of the estate.  The Register is also the agent for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to collect inheritance tax.

The Register of Wills holds a quasi-judicial position and, if necessary, conducts hearings to determine who should be appointed as executor or administrator of an estate. Some issues brought to a hearing involve issues like forgery, mental capacity and undue influence. The parties have a right to appeal the Register's decision to the Orphans' Court Divison of the Court of Common Pleas.

Video Tutorials 
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Adding Funds to An Escrow Account 
Requesting a Marriage Certificate
Current News 
Bucks County Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans’ Court Issues Consumer Alert for Parties Requesting Marriage Certifications
Bucks County Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans' Court Finishes Successful Term as President of Statewide Association - July 30, 2018 
Bucks County Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans’ Court Announces New Protections for Vulnerable Citizens  - June 29, 2018 
What it Means to You: The Public Access Policy of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania: Case Records of the Appellate and Trial Courts

As Clerk of Orphans' Court, our office serves as the filing office and custodian of records for matters involving adoptions, guardianship and estate litigation. The office also issues all marriage licenses for the County of Bucks.

Our office's primary goal is to serve you, especially during the time when you may be grieving the loss of a loved one.

The information on this website is intended to be of assistance by providing basic information relating to the probate and administration of estates.

Please be assured that our office is committed to providing services to you in a prompt and efficient manner.

Probate Estates & Administrations 
The Register of Wills is the county office where a decedent’s estate paperwork is processed.  When a person passes away, the Register of Wills appoints a personal representative to administer the estate.  If the decedent has a Will, the person(s) named in the Will should come to the Register’s office to probate.  If the decedent did not have a Will the next-of-kin should come to the Register’s office to probate.

The following documents are needed to open an estate:

  • Original Will (if any)
  • Original death certificate (confirming Bucks County domicile)
  • Current government issued photo identification (for executor/administrator)
  • Name and address of intestate heirs
  • Date of death value(s) for personal and real property owned by decedent
  • Cash, check or credit card for payment of fees

Register of Wills/Clerk of the Orphans' Court/Marriage Licenses
Access to our and records can be obtained by visiting: www.buckscounty.org\rowocrecords and logging in as our “Guest”. If you experience difficulty viewing files, please see the Document Viewing InstructionsIf you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to call the office at (215) 348-6265 during normal business hours.

Genealogical and/or Estate Search
The Bucks County Register of Wills and Clerk of Orphans’ Court are two of the oldest government offices in the country.  Most of our records are available to the public through our Archive Research Center microfilm library as well as many original documents, including wills dating back to 1684. 

Click here for more information on Genealogy/Searches

We also perform searches for current probate estates.  Please contact the Register of Wills office for further details. 

Birth and Death Records from 1907 to the Present can be found at:

Division of Vital Records
101 S. Mercer Street, Room 401
New Castle, PA 16101

Marriage License
George Washington “considered marriage as the most interesting event of one's life, the foundation of happiness or misery.” (letter to Burwell Bassett, May 23, 1785).  The Bucks County Orphans’ Court is honored to help you complete the required paperwork and wish you happiness as you take this step in your life together.

Click here for more information on marriage licenses

Orphans’ Court Filings
As well as Marriage License Applications, the Bucks County Orphans’ Court handles a variety of legal documents, such as petitions for adoption, petitions for guardianships and estate, or accounting. We also accept documents that do not require Court action like a Power of Attorney and a Claim against an estate.

Click here for more information on Orphans’ Court

2017 Orphans' Court Audit Schedule

If you have any legal questions you can research in the Courthouse Law Library, which is open to the public, or you can retain your own attorney. 

Please Note:
All information on this webpage is to inform and not to advise. It is based upon Pennsylvania law. The statements are general, and individual facts in a given case may alter their application or involve other laws not referred to here. 

Register of Wills & Clerk of Orphans' Court
Donald Petrille, Jr., Esquire

Bucks County Courthouse
55 East Court Street 
6th Floor, Administration Building (New Location)
Doylestown, PA 18901

Phone: 215-348-6265
Fax: 215-348-6156 



Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm 
1st & 3rd Wednesday every month – open until 7:30 pm (Doylestown Office Only)

Offsite Location for Probate & Marriage License Application: 
Lower Bucks Government Service Center 
7321 New Falls Road
Levittown, PA 19055
Phone: 267-580-3585
Hours: Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 4:00 pm
(Closed for lunch between 12:00 and 1:00 pm)
Appointments are encouraged at this location
Notice: No probate or marriage licenses will be accepted after 2:00 pm on Tuesday, November 12, 2019, but will reopen at normal time on Wednesday, November 13th.