Frequently Asked Questions About Probate In South Carolina

Key Takeaways:

  • On average, estates stay in probate in South Carolina for one to two years. However, if there are complications, like will contests or fighting heirs, it can take far longer—sometimes up to 5 years or more.
  • Trusts can be used to pass on assets outside of the probate process.
  • Contesting a will or trust is a very expensive, time-consuming process that can usually be avoided by the person making sure to leave a solid will or trust before their death.

How Long Does An Estate Stay In Probate In South Carolina?

Generally, most probate cases in South Carolina stay open from one to two years.However, if the heirs contest the will or fight with each other, probate can go on for much longer – sometimes even as long as five or six years.

What Happens If Business Owners Have Not Properly Set Up Plans For What Will Happen To Their Wealth And Business Should They Become Incapacitated Or Die?

If the owner of the business has not arranged for what will happen after she dies, the law will step in to decide what happens.This can often result in unwanted relatives owning a portion of the business. In some cases, these relatives have nothing to do with the business and don’t know what they are doing. This can cause all sorts of troubles for the business.

Can Any Of The Deceased Party’s Assets Be Transferred Outside Of Probate In South Carolina?
Certain assets can be transferred outside of a will or probate in South Carolina – this is done through a trust.One purpose of a trust is to hold all of a person’s assets so that when they die, there is nothing to go through probate. That way, everything can be passed on according to their trust, outside of the probate process.

How Long Do Creditors Have To Submit A Claim Against An Estate In South Carolina?When a probate case is opened and a personal representative is appointed, there is a notice placed in the newspaper that the probate case is open. From the time that notice is given in the paper, the creditors will have 8 months to file a claim.

What Happens Once Probate Is Finished?
When the probate is ready to close, the Judge will issue a Closing Order.Then, any assets that are in the estate are distributed out to the heirs as the will stipulated. If there are no heirs, then assets are distributed as the law dictates.Any real property has to be passed by deed of distribution, which is the last thing that is prepared and executed prior to closing the estate.

My Parents Just Died. How Long After Probate Can A House Or Property Be Sold?
Usually, you cannot immediately sell your parents’ house right after their death, because it is tied up in the probate process. Generally, a house or any other piece of real property cannot be sold until the very end of the probate case.However, if the decedent had a will and the will gives permission to sell, then the personal representative can sell the house before the end of the probate process—but the proceeds from that sale need to be kept in the estate until the end so that any creditors can be paid.If a personal representative sells the house and uses that money for something else before a valid creditor comes, that creditor can go after the personal representative personally for that debt.

How Long After Probate Are Funds Generally Released?
At the end of the probate process, the Judge will issue a Closing Order based on the fact that a final accounting was filed – as well as a final distribution.Once that order is issued, all the assets remaining in the estate will be immediately passed out to the heirs.

Does Every Probate Case In South Carolina Need A Probate Attorney?
No, every probate case does not necessarily need an attorney.If the entire estate does not have land, or if all the assets in the estate are valued at less than $25,000, that is called a “small estate” in South Carolina. Generally, in those cases, the next of kin can handle that probate without any help.However, any probate case that has land involved does need an attorney – at least to prepare the deed of distribution.

How Long Does It Take To Contest A Trust In South Carolina?
To contest a trust, one must file a complaint in the Circuit Court.Circuit Court trials and cases generally last anywhere from two to five years.

Who Should I Assign As The Executor Of My Estate? Should I Name One Of My Children?
Most people will choose their spouse as the personal representative of first choice.Many other people, of course, do choose one or two of their children as their personal representative(s).If those are not available, then you should choose someone you trust implicitly to handle your estate after you pass away.

What Are Common Disputes That Arise Between Heirs, Beneficiaries, And Children After Someone Dies?
The kind of conflicts that arise depend in large part on whether or not there was a will or trust in place.The answer to how much these conflicts can be avoided is to have a trust or at least a will in place before you die.Most of the fights occur over money, as you might expect, or one heir will say that the deceased had promised them something before they died – only to find out that the promise was not reflected in the will.

What Should We Expect to Happen If Someone Contests A Will Or A Trust In South Carolina?
If someone contests a will, that is handled in Probate Court. If someone contests a trust, that would be done in Circuit Court.Either way, it will be a very expensive process. There will be hearings, depositions, discovery before trial, and a trial before the Court.And in a case where someone claims that the decedent did not have the capacity to make a will or a trust, then you get medical experts involved (who are always very expensive). This process is often incredibly expensive, so it’s best to consult with an attorney you trust before taking any legal action.

For more information on Probate Of An Estate In South Carolina, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (864) 271-7940 today.

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