Debora Faulkner serves as the Probate Judge for Greenville County creating a legacy of leadership, problem solving, and service to the community.
During Judge Faulkner’s service as Probate Judge, she has been the first to implement cost-saving and user-friendly programs that are copied throughout other probate courts in the state. Judge Faulkner is regularly asked for guidance from many of the other 45 South Carolina probate judges. Judge Faulkner has developed and provides classes on wills and estates. She launched a Volunteer Court Monitoring program to allow the Probate Court to monitor and protect the health and safety of individuals under the jurisdiction of the court. Additionally, an online complaint and notification process was created to protect vulnerable adults and children. Seeing a need within the growing Hispanic community, Judge Faulkner implemented bi-lingual marriage licenses. She’s also designed and implemented the PAWS system which allows free online access for attorneys to all probate court filings, saving taxpayers money.
Leadership in Action
Under Judge Faulkner’s leadership, the Probate Court stayed open during the COVID-19 pandemic even when other courts and government offices were closed. Following safety guidelines, Judge Faulkner and her team oversaw wills and estates, protected incapacitated adults, and issued marriage licenses – often in the parking lot instead of the courtroom.
Judge Faulkner holds leadership positions both in the legal profession and in community organizations. She has received numerous appointments and awards from the SC Supreme Court and the SC Attorney General. Judge Faulkner is also a published author in many SC Bar Publications and national legal magazines.
Highlights of her career include:
- SC Association of Probate Judges, past president
- National College of Probate Judges, state representative
- SC Supreme Court Commission on Judicial Conduct
- SC Judicial Council
- SC Supreme Court’s Probate Court Advisory Committee
- SC Commission on Alternative Dispute Resolution
- SC Supreme Court Task Force on State Courts and the Elderly, chairperson
- Greenville, SC, and American Bar Associations
- National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
- Greenville Estate Planning Group
- Rotary International, Paul Harris Fellow award
- Leadership Greenville, Class XXVI
- Furman University’s Riley Institute for Diversity
- Greenville Technical College Paralegal Advisory Board
- Greenville Chorale Board
- Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum Advisory Board
Who is Judge Debora Faulkner
Born in Waterloo in Laurens County, Judge Faulkner earned both her undergraduate and law school degrees from the University of South Carolina. After practicing law in both public and private practices for 13 years in Greenville, Judge Faulkner became an Associate Probate Judge for the Hon. Diane Smock. Upon Judge Smock’s retirement, the voters elected Judge Faulkner to serve as Probate Judge, and have continued to elect her.
As a 16-year breast cancer survivor and a caregiver for her still active 93-year-old mother, Judge Faulkner continues to advocate for more education, protection, and services for the vulnerable and the elderly.