Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans' Court
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.
As Clerk of Orphans' Court, our office serves as the filing office and custodian of records for matters involving adoptions, guardianships 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.
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
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
2013 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.
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
3rd Floor, Administration Building
Doylestown, PA 18901
Register of Wills: 215-348-6265
Orphans' Court: 215-348-6271
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
1st & 3rd Wednesday every month –
open until 7:30 pm
Offsite Location for Probate & Marriage:
(No inheritance tax filings or payments received at this location)
Lower Bucks Government Service Center
7321 New Falls Road
Levittown, PA 19055
Monday 1:00 to 4:00 pm
Tuesday and Thursday 8:30 am to 4:00 pm
Friday 8:30 am to 12:00 pm