If you are grieving for a loved one, the last thing you need is to take on the burden of administering his or her estate.
Many people have heard the term “probate” but wonder what it actually means. Simply put, probate is the court-supervised process of distributing assets after a person has died.
Unfortunately, there is nothing simple about it, particularly in the state of South Carolina. It is frustrating, time-consuming, often needlessly expensive, and open to the public. Everything that goes through probate – including your will, all of your assets, and even in some cases your retirement plans, is public record and can be discovered by anyone.
How long does the probate process take? It depends on the size and complexity of the estate, the schedule of the local probate court, and whether it involves disputes between family members and/or creditors. In South Carolina, most probates take about a year, but some can go on for much longer. As South Carolina probate attorneys, we have extensive experience with local and state probate laws and requirements to expedite the process and resolve any problems as quickly as possible. We also understand what you are going through during this difficult time, and will strive to make the process as stress-free as possible.
Perhaps you are wondering what is involved in probating an estate? While every situation is unique, a “typical” probate requires all of the following:
- Filing a petition with the probate court;
- Sending a notice to heirs named in the Will or, if there is no Will, to statutory heirs;
- Collecting all of the estate’s assets;
- Petitioning the Court to appoint a Personal Representative;
- Filing an Inventory and Appraisement of all estate assets;
- Publishing a Notice to Creditors, and waiting the requisite eight-month period for the statutory notice period to expire;
- Paying estate debts to creditors;
- Selling certain estate assets;
- Paying taxes owed by the estate;
- Submitting a proposal for distribution of estate assets;
- Executing and filing deeds of distribution to estate heirs, and;
- Making a final distribution of assets to heirs
LET US DO THE WORK FOR YOU
Much of our practice is dedicated to helping families avoid probate entirely. However, if you are faced with the prospect of dealing with the South Carolina probate court, we can guide you through the process compassionately and efficiently.
The requirements to complete these steps are confusing, time-consuming, complicated, and cumbersome. Additionally, you must comply with a variety of statutory requirements throughout the process. Fortunately, the difficulty of completing this process can be eased when you work with an attorney who specializes in probating estates. It is our job to take that work out of your hands and allow you to grieve and focus on your family. Contact us today to set up an appointment!