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Probate Administration: The Process

After the passing of a loved one, probate administration is often required to settle all of their debts and handle final estate taxes. At Butler Law, we offer dedicated and professional legal counsel to clients across South Carolina undergoing the probate process. Attorney Dan Butler possesses over 13 years of legal experience advising clients on probate issues. If you are an estate administrator or believe you may be involved in a probate hearing, please contact our law firm today to learn about the services we can provide to you.

Which Assets Are Subject to Probate?

In the state of South Carolina, the following assets are considered “probate assets” that must go through probate administration:

  • Real or personal property exclusively owned by the deceased

  • Real estate in which title is held solely by the deceased or jointly by the deceased with another as “tenants in common”

  • Business interests held in a partnership, limited liability company or corporation

  • Checking or savings accounts held solely in deceased’s name, without designation of “paid on death” beneficiary

Other assets, including the following, are considered “non-probate assets” that do not go through probate administration:

  • Financial and insurance accounts with a named beneficiary

  • Jointly held real estate in which title is held “jointly with a right of survivorship” and not as “tenants in common”

  • Qualified plans such as 401(k)s, pensions, etc., in which beneficiaries are properly named

  • Assets held in trust

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Legal Representation Through the Probate Process in South Carolina

Dan Butler‘s extensive hands-on knowledge of the probate administration process in South Carolina has helped many clients throughout the state. This process includes, generally, the following steps:

  1. Will delivered: The entire probate process begins upon delivery of the original last will and testament of the deceased to the probate court. This document is required to be filed within 30 days after the death.

  2. Personal representative appointed: The last will usually designates this individual. If it does not, the probate court will appoint a representative to handle estate administration.

  3. Heirs notified: Notifications are sent to heirs to allow them the opportunity to contest the will.

  4. Estate appraised: Within 90 days of the opening of the estate, all assets must be inventoried and appraised.

  5. Final payment of debts: Next, payment is made for all debts owed by the estate.

  6. Disbursement of assets: Remaining assets are distributed to the devisees if there was a last will, or to heirs per the state statute if there was no last will.

  7. Closure of the estate: A certificate of discharge is obtained by the administrator officially closing the estate.

Dedicated Counsel for Estate Planning and Probate Administration

Lawyer Dan Butler is ready to stand by your side to help you execute each step of the probate process. We take the time to listen to our clients to provide optimal, efficient legal solutions. Give our law firm a call us or reach out to us via email. We offer a free initial consultation.